What is on the Series 7 exam?

The financial services industry is heavily regulated.  In order to enter into the industry and sell securities, you must first prove that you have the competence.  In order to showcase your competency, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) requires that you take the Series 7 exam, also known as the General Securities Registered Representative Qualification Exam.  In order to take the exam, you must be sponsored by a FINRA member firm. Read More…

Investment Advisers: SEC vs. State Registration

Due to the Dodd-Frank legislation, as of mid-2012, there are rules for registration eligibility that are primarily determined by a firm’s assets under management (“AUM”). For all firms below $100 million AUM, registration is required with the appropriate state jurisdictions.  For firms above $100 million AUM, registration will be at the SEC level, unless a registration exemption exists. In order to account for fluctuations in AUM, the SEC has imposed, by rule, a buffer for Investment Advisers with AUM between $90 million and $110 million. An adviser may register with the SEC once it reaches AUM of $100 million. An adviser must register with the SEC if it’s AUM is $110 million or more at the time they file their annual ADV amendment. Once registered with the SEC, a mid-size adviser can remain registered with the SEC as long as its AUM is at least $90 million at the time they file their ADV amendment.  Read More…

Rule change related to Registration and Continuing Education

As summarized below, FINRA recently filed with the SEC a proposed rule change to adopt, with amendments, the NASD and Incorporated NYSE rules relating to qualification and registration requirements as FINRA rules in the Consolidated Rulebook. The proposed rule change also restructures the current representative-level qualification examinations and creates a general knowledge examination and specialized knowledge examinations.  In addition, the proposed rule change amends the Continuing Education (“CE”) requirements.

Registration Requirements

FINRA has adopted registration requirements to ensure that associated persons attain and maintain specified levels of competence and knowledge pertinent to their function.  The current FINRA registration rules include both NASD rules and rules incorporated from the NYSE. Read More…

Important Annual Regulatory Certifications – Rule 4517

FINRA Rule 4517 – Member Filing and Contact Information Requirements

FINRA Rule 4517 requires member broker-dealers to report and update to FINRA all contact information required by FINRA via Firm Gateway.  Specifically, each registered broker-dealer is required to report and update all contact information required by FINRA via the Firm Gateway.  Additionally, broker-dealers must update its required contact information promptly, but in any event not later than 30 days following any change in such information. Read More…

Is a Series 24 Required to Own a BD?

The question of who is required to have an active FINRA Series 24 (General Securities Principal) registration is often not as easy to answer as you may think. As a broker-dealer compliance consulting specialist, we encounter this question from seasoned FINRA compliance veterans and new broker-dealers alike.

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What Is Form U10 And Why Do I Need It?

If you’re seeking FINRA registration, you must be employed by or associated with a FINRA member firm. If you are required to take a FINRA examination while associated with a FINRA member firm – or a firm applying for FINRA membership – all examination scheduling should happen via Form U4. But what if you’re not employed by or associated with a member firm, but another regulatory authority has required that you qualify by examination? In such a case, instead of filing Form U4, you must file form U10.

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FINRA Annual Renewal Program

FINRA member firms are required to annually renew their registrations with FINRA, other self-regulatory organizations (SRO’s), and states/jurisdictions. The FINRA annual Renewal Program begins with the fourth quarter each year. Rather than require firms to submit each individual renewal payment to each individual regulatory body, FINRA collects all applicable renewal fees on behalf of itself[…]