More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Registration Requirements for Investment Advisor Representatives (IARs) When individuals launch an advisory firm, they must avoid marketing themselves or the firm as investment advisors before they are properly approved and registered. Otherwise, they are subject to severe penalties.
- Books and Records Rule Thorough and complete books and records enable RIAs to demonstrate that they have fulfilled their fiduciary obligations to clients and complied with applicable rules and regulations.
Securities America has introduced an automated system for new advisors that lets them join the company with a paperless system that captures FINRA CRD data, pre-populates forms and uses electronic signatures and fingerprints.
Securities America’s onboarding system pulls information from the company’s internal databases as well as the Central Registration Depository (CRD) of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to pre-populate forms for the advisor to review online and correct or confirm. The CRD is the central licensing and registration system for the U.S. securities industry and its regulators and contains the registration records of more than 6,800 registered broker-dealers.
Rick Pucci, president of Park Ridge Financial in Park Ridge, Ill., was one of the first to use the paperless onboarding system when he joined Securities America.
“Much of the data had been pre-populated and a highlighter quickly directed me to the fields that needed my attention,” Pucci said in a statement. “With the secure website and embedded electronic signature feature, I could access, sign and return applications, agreements, personal history statements and offer letters within minutes. It was incredibly efficient and saved me and my staff a lot of time.”
When switching broker-dealers, advisors typically face the chore of filling out reams of paperwork and enduring rounds of overnighted envelopes to finalize agreements when they come on board their new company. Securities Americ, headquartered in La Vista, Neb., built its online licensing kit using “dynamic questioning,” with answers to questions triggering other questions the prospective advisor must answer. The kit is just one of its efforts to create a paperless workplace.
For example, a built-in tracking feature provides the status of each document, avoiding redundancies or overlap between Securities America staff and the prospective advisor.
“As each step in the process is completed or approved, it automatically triggers the next step and generates any necessary email notifications,” said Gregg Johnson, Securities America senior vice president of branch office development and acquisitions, in a statement. “The process can keep moving, even during non-business hours, which allows our transition specialists to spend more time delving into the individual needs of our new advisors.”
Read thoughts from Securities America Financial’s Kirk Hulett about how to help clients stop overspending at AdvisorOne.