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FINRA Suspends Rep in Text Message Incident

According to this month’s FINRA disciplinary actions notice, a representative from New York, New York was assessed a deferred fine of $7,500 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for 60 days due to the entry of findings that contrary to her member firm’s policies, she used the text-messaging function of a non-firm-issued smartphone to exchange business related messages with a customer. Read More

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The SEC’s Top Five Advisor Compliance Failures

On February 7, 2017, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) issued a Risk Alert discussing the five most frequent compliance topics identified in OCIE examinations of investment advisors. The Alert was compiled based on deficiency letters from over 1,000 investment advisor examinations completed during the past two years. Read More

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Axelrod Discusses “Area of Significant Regulatory Focus”

Earlier this month, SIFMA hosted its annual Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes conference in New York, NY. During the program, FINRA’s Executive Vice President of Regulatory Operations, Susan Axelrod, took the stage to address an "area of significant regulatory focus" for FINRA, Anti-Money Laundering. Read More

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DOL Publishes FAQ on Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor has released its second wave of frequently asked questions regarding the forthcoming fiduciary rule. While the first announcement was intended for financial advisors impacted by the rule, this list was written for a completely different audience – retirement investors. Read More

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FINRA Issues Suspension Over Firm Element Training

In this month’s FINRA Disciplinary Actions Notice, a registered representative was suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for three months due to the entry of findings that she instructed her assistant to complete her Firm Element continuing education coursework on her behalf. Read More

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SEC Releases Risk Alert on Investment Adviser Exams

Last week, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations released a Risk Alert announcing an upcoming examination initiative that focuses on the supervisory practices of SEC-registered investment advisers and how they monitor advisory personnel in disparate branch locations. Read More

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Representative Fined $10K for Bribing Exam Proctor

A representative from Gig Harbor, Washington submitted an AWC in which he was assessed a deferred fine of $10,000 and suspended from association with any FINRA member in any capacity for two years due to the entry of findings that when he was a candidate for the Series 7 exam, he offered $2,000 to an exam proctor for her assistance to help him pass the exam. Read More

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Why Training is the Best Compliance Remedy

If you were given the choice between two different pilots – one that is trained, the other not – which one would you choose? The answer seems like a pretty simple one, doesn’t it? So why would you treat your firm’s training plan any differently? Read More

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FINRA Notice: 2017 Report Filing Due Dates

In an Information Notice released Monday, December 5, 2016, FINRA outlined several due dates for annual filings in 2017. This list included deadlines for firm's Annual Audit, Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single (FOCUS), Form Custody, and supplemental FOCUS Report filing obligations. Read More

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Takeaways from the FINRA Small Firm Conference

On November 9, 2016, FINRA kicked off its annual "Small Firm Conference" in Phoenix, Arizona. Keynote speakers included FINRA’s CEO Robert Cook as well as the DOL’s Chief Operating Officer of DOL Employee Benefits Security, Tim Hauser. Read More