Category Archives: How to Become RIA

Minnesota will begin Requiring Investment Adviser Representative (IAR) Registration

June 28, 2013

The Minnesota Department of Commerce – Securities Unit recently announced that during the last legislative session a bill was passed that has now been signed into law, resulting in changes to investment adviser representative (“IAR”) registration requirements.  One of the significant changes that will likely impact many federally and state registered investment advisers, located or conducting business in Minnesota, is the requirement to register investment adviser representatives through the Web CRD/IARD system.  Prior to this recent legislation, Minnesota did not have registration requirements for investment adviser representatives.  However, Minnesota Statute 80A.58 Section 403(a) has now been revised to state, “It is unlawful for a person to transact business in this state as an investment adviser or investment adviser representative unless the person is registered under this chapter or is exempt from registration. . . .”

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IARD Replacing System for a Registered Investment Advisor to Fund IARD/CRD Daily Account

April 19, 2013

Effective March 18, 2013, the IARD/CRD system implemented an E-Bill system for registered investment advisor firms to fund their FINRA Flex-Funding Account (CRD/IARD Daily Account). See the Account Payment Methods and Addresses section in the IARD public site for detailed information. Investment advisor firms may continue to use the existing Web CRD/IARD E-Pay system to make electronic (ACH) payments to their Daily Account until June 17, 2013, when the Web CRD/IARD E-Pay link will be replaced by a link to E-Bill.

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How Much Will It Cost to Register an Investment Adviser?

February 10, 2013

When an individual is considering whether to start a registered investment adviser, a primary concern is how much will it cost to set-up an investment adviser firm.  The set-up expenses can vary greatly depending upon whether the firm will need to register as an investment adviser with the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) or with the state securities regulator, the size of the investment adviser, the complexity of the proposed investment adviser’s business model, and the conflict or potential conflict of interest situations that will exist.  An individual looking to register as an investment adviser will not only need to take into consideration the cost involved in the actual investment adviser registration process but will also need to consider the cost of getting the appropriate office set-up and systems in place as well as any staffing related costs.

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Are Fingerprints Required When an RIA Registers an Investment Adviser Representative?

December 09, 2012

If an investment adviser representative was previously licensed as a registered representative/securities agent with a broker/dealer through the Web CRD system, the state securities regulator should be able to access fingerprint information already on file. Also, if an investment adviser representative was previously licensed with another investment advisor firm, the state securities regulator will generally not require a new fingerprint card. It should be noted that many state securities regulators do not even require a fingerprint card, so it is important you check with the state securities regulator prior to completing a fingerprint card.

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Mid-Sized Investment Advisers Required to Register with the SEC Rather than New York Investor Protection Bureau

August 31, 2012

New York City houses one of the financial epicenters of the world so many may find it surprising that investment advisers with their principal office and place of business in New York are not subject to an examination by the New York Investor Protection Bureau.  The New York Investor Protection Bureau is charged with enforcing the New York State securities laws and requires investment advisers to register with the New York Attorney General’s Office.  Because the New York Investor Protection Bureau does not conduct examinations of investment advisers with a principal office and place of business who are registered with the New York Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) will handle the registration and examination of mid-sized investment advisers (investment advisers with between $25 million and $100 million of assets under management) with a principal office or place of business in New York.

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Kansas and Louisiana Securities Regulators Require Submission of Written Supervisory Procedures When Registering as an Investment Adviser

August 27, 2012

A firm that wants to register as an investment adviser must at a minimum prepare and file the Form ADV through the Investment Adviser Registration Depository (“IARD”) system.  When registering as an investment adviser with a state securities regulator, an investment adviser is typically required to submit additional documentation directly to the state securities regulator.  An investment adviser applicant seeking registration with a state securities regulator should review the investment adviser registration requirements for each particular state where the investment adviser applicant is required to register since the requirements typically vary from state to state.

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Certain State Securities Regulators Require Branch Registration for Investment Advisers

August 24, 2012

Fifteen states require investment advisers to register their branch offices with the state securities regulator. Currently, the Alabama Securities Commission, the  Arkansas Securities Department, the Connecticut Department of Banking, Securities and Business Investments Division, Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation , Hawaii’s Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Idaho’s Department of Finance, the Illinois Securities Department, Maine’s Office of Securities, the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities, the New Mexico Securities Division, the Ohio Department of Commerce, the Texas State Securities Board, Vermont’s Department of Financial Regulation, the West Virginia Securities Commission, and Wisconsin’s Department of Financial Institutions require investment adviser branch offices to register with state securities regulators. Some of these 15 state securities regulators require an investment adviser branch office registration fee while other states only require registration of each investment adviser branch located in their state.  For state securities regulators that do charge branch office registration fees, the charges range from $20 (by the Illinois Securities Department) to $300 (by the New Mexico Securities Division). For further information on the investment adviser registration requirements in each state, refer to the North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) website.

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De-registration Looms for Mid-Sized Financial Advisers that Have Not Filed

July 05, 2012

Mid-sized investment adviser firms that did not register with one or more state securities regulators by the June 28, 2012, deadline are in danger of being de-registered by the U.S.  Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as early as this week.  However, the first wave of terminations may not occur until September according to a staff member from the SEC who spoke with one of our Senior Compliance Consultants earlier this year.  Investment advisers that did not file an amendment to Form ADV Part 1 confirming their registration status by the March 31, 2012, deadline and/or have not filed a state registration application, if no longer SEC eligible; face the highest risk for untimely termination.

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Make Sure You Properly Renew Your Investment Adviser Firm and Representative Registrations

November 09, 2011

Investment adviser firms and investment adviser representatives must maintain active registrations and/or notice filing statuses with applicable jurisdictions/states. Investment advisers should be aware that renewing registrations includes paying all applicable renewal fees by December 12, 2011. Unless properly renewed, all investment adviser firm and representative registrations will expire on December 31st of each calendar year. Failure to maintain active registration or failing to properly renew registration may be detrimental to an investment advisor firm.  Investment adviser firms and investment adviser representative that are not properly renewed may become ineligible to conduct business affected jurisdictions effective January 1, 2012.  Additionally, certain regulators may assess fines against those firms or representatives that fail to properly renew.

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Colorado Requiring New Investment Adviser Applications to Include New ADV Part 2

March 05, 2011

Although the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and most state securities regulators are already requiring the use of the new Form ADV Part 2 as part the application process for new investment advisors, the Colorado Division of Securities recently released a public notice stating that as of April 1, 2011 all new investment adviser applications must include the new narrative version of Form ADV Part 2.

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