The Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (“IAPD”) website was created by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to provide investors with information about their investment adviser and investment adviser representative. The IAPD was created as a result of a 1996 amendment to the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The website provides information on both SEC and state registered investment advisers, certain investment adviser firms that are exempt from registration with the SEC or states, and state-registered investment adviser representatives.
The IAPD allows users to search for an investment adviser firm, view the investment adviser’s current Form ADV, check the registration or reporting status, search for an investment adviser representative, view the investment adviser representative’s background information, and check the investment adviser representative’s registration status among other things. The information that appears on the IAPD is filed by investment advisers when they submit their initial or any amendments to their Form ADVs. The information about investment adviser representatives that appears on this website is collected from individual investment adviser representatives, investment adviser firms and/or securities regulators as part of the registration and licensing process. If users see information they believe is incorrect or inaccurate they can make a complaint with the SEC through the website or by contacting a state securities regulator through the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) website.
Additionally the IAPD includes information on investment adviser representatives who may no longer be registered with state securities regulators. According to the SEC’s website, “the IAPD includes information on investment adviser representatives who were registered with state securities regulators within the past 10 years, or have ever been the subject of a final regulatory event, convicted of or pled guilty or no contest to a crime, have been the subject of a civil injunction or civil court finding involving a violation of any investment-related statutes or regulations, or have been a respondent or defendant or the subject of an arbitration or civil litigation which resulted in an award, decision, or judgment for a customer that has been reported on a registration form.”
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has a similar system for brokerage firms and their registered representatives called BrokerCheck. According to FINRA’s website an investor can “search for information about brokers and brokerage firms, search for information about investment adviser firms and representatives, obtain online background reports, if available, and link to additional resources such as educational tools for investors. The information about brokers and brokerage firms made available through BrokerCheck is derived from the Central Registration Depository (CRD®), the securities industry online registration and licensing database.” Like the IAPD, BrokerCheck has information on any brokerage firms or registered representatives who have been registered with FINRA within the past 10 years.
The IAPD and BrokerCheck were created as a measure to protect investors by providing them resources to research their investment adviser and investment adviser representative (through IAPD) and to research brokerage firms and registered representatives (through FINRA BrokerCheck). This provides another reason why it is important to file current and accurate information in a timely manner on the Form ADV and Form U4. It is important not only because it is a regulatory violation not to do so but also because potential and existing clients may use this publicly available information in making a determination whether to do business with an investment adviser or an investment adviser representative.
To learn more about properly filing and maintaining current and accurate information on the Form U4 sign up for our upcoming webinar, “Solutions and Answers to Form U4 and U5 Challenges”, which will be hosted by RIA Compliance Consultants on August 23 at 12 pm CDT.
RIA Compliance Consultants can assist you with preparing, updating, and filing the Form U4 and Form U5 as well as developing internal policies and procedures for maintaining these documents. If you are an existing client of RIA Compliance Consultants interested in discussing how we can assist your investment adviser, please contact your consultant. If you are a new client that would like to speak with us regarding the services we can provide, please contact us to schedule a time to speak with one of our consultants.