Regulatory Compliance E-newsletter - December
Posted On 12/10/2014 9:15:00 AM
Feature of the Month
Annual Tasks are automated with NRS ComplianceGuardianTM
It's that time of year. Gathering the annual holdings statements from your access persons and reviewing against all of the transaction data is an arduous, time-consuming and error-prone task that can be easily automated. Collecting the information and painstakingly reviewing with the required quarterly transaction statements and the firm's trade restrictions as well as the rules set forth in the firm's code of ethics can take a significant amount of your time.
NRS ComplianceGuardianTM now offers a Personal Securities Trading module which allows your firm to integrate trading rules, restricted lists, and pre-clearance requests that automate trading approvals and denials. Now, those within your firm can generate annual holdings reports and quarterly transaction reports along with an attestation for recordkeeping purposes. Register for a demonstration to see how the PST module can:
- Automate Trade Preclearance and Exceptions
- Automate Reporting for Annual Holdings, Quarterly Transaction and Initial Holdings
- Attestations and Automated Archiving
- Create and Manage Multiple Restricted Lists Simultaneously
- Manage Heightened Supervision Individuals Easily
Contact NRS or sign up for a demo today.
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Planning for Annual Attestations and Disclosures
As the year winds down, your annual compliance requirements may be coming due. Keeping accurate records while utilizing an easy submission process, ensures compliance with your registered representatives as well as at a firm level with FINRA. The ComplianceMAX Disclosures module allows you to automate the process of assigning, collecting, reviewing, and storing many of the regular annual or repetitive disclosures and attestations required of each registered representative. Representatives can make attestations and disclose necessary actions via an easy to use online tool, automatically tracking each one’s completion.
ComplianceMAX Disclosures Module can:
- Automate the assignment of regular disclosures and attestations including, but not limited to: OBA, PIA, PST, ACQ
- Monitor the status of disclosures, track those that are outstanding, and overall completion through a completed audit report
- Issue Alerts for forms assigned, completed and reviewed
- Store any supporting documentation online directly with each form
- Store and report all records and documents providing reporting in full compliance with 17a-4 books and records rules
Under the increased scrutiny of today's regulatory environment, you need a tool to help collect all the paperwork on a regular basis, quickly, easily and accurately. Register today for a ComplianceMAX Disclosures Module demo.
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NRS Education is Ready for the New Year
From professional development programs and web-based seminars to investment adviser symposia, NRS provides a comprehensive selection of practical compliance education options designed to train and enlighten staff at investment adviser, investment company and broker-dealer firms. Review the NRS Education 2015 Calendar for education options that fit your needs and schedule.
NRS Education events are designed to meet criteria for continuing education credits for CPA/accountants, compliance professionals, attorneys, certified final planners and other financial services professionals.
In today’s fast-changing regulatory environment, the need to educate staff at every level is paramount to successfully incorporating compliance into your firm's daily business operations and minimizing your firm's risk.
Education On-Site and In-Person:
Directed Compliance Education Programs:
Unlimited Flexibility for Learning Your Way:
Save the Date for the 30th Annual NRS Conferences:
We are always eager to hear about the specialized topics and forms of content delivery that you and your firm need to stay current, so please keep the suggestions coming.
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Broker-Dealer Year in Review
2014 brought many changes to the broker-dealer compliance environment and now is a good time to make sure you've adapted and responded appropriately. Below is a list compiled by NRS of some of the most important issues from the past year. Have you been keeping your WSPs and operations up-to-date?
- Municipal Advisor Registration - Form MA-T
A person who became a municipal advisor on or after October 1, 2014 is required to register with the SEC as a municipal advisor by submitting Forms MA and MA-I using the Commission's Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval ("EDGAR") system. In addition, municipal advisors must also register with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB).
Municipal Advisor definition: Section 15B of the Securities Exchange Act defines the term "municipal advisor" to mean a person that (i) provides advice to or on behalf of a municipal entity or obligated person with respect to municipal financial products or the issuance of municipal securities, including advice with respect to the structure, timing, terms, and other similar matters concerning such financial products or issues, or (ii) undertakes a solicitation of a municipal entity. The definition includes financial advisors, guaranteed investment contract brokers, third-party marketers, placement agents, solicitors, finders, and swap advisors that engage in municipal advisory activities.
- FINRA’s Consolidated Supervision Rules
Effective December 1, 2014 the following rule changes are effective:
FINRA Regulatory Notice 14-10 should be reviewed to ensure all oversight and compliance changes are understood and appropriately incorporated into the firm’s WSPs.
- NASD Rule 3010 became FINRA Rule 3110
- NASD Rule 3012 became FINRA Rule 3120
- NASD Rule 3010(i) became FINRA Rule 3150
- NASD Rule 3010(b)(2) became FINRA Rule 3170
- Internal risk assessments
FINRA is expecting broker-dealers to have developed a written plan clearly stating how identified risks will be controlled (how and by whom)
- Conflicts of interest
FINRA is looking for firms to have put together, minimally,
- A summary of the most significant conflicts the firm is currently managing
- Names of departments and persons responsible for conducting conflicts reviews
- A summary of the types of reports or other documents prepared at the conclusion of a conflicts review
- Names of departments and persons who receive any final report or other documentation
- Written procedures for (a) identifying and (b) mitigating (controlling) all identified conflicts of interest
If you're feeling a bit out-of-date, NRS's Consulting staff can help you perform a risk assessment and gap analysis for your business as we enter the new year. In addition the NRS ComplianceGuardian™ platform and its WSP module, guided by NRS's expert consultants, can be used to create and maintain policies and procedures that are always current with regulations. For additional information about how we can help you wrap up 2014 and get 2015 off on the right foot compliance-wise, contact us today.
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