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.
- Pay-to-Play Rule Violating the pay-to-play rule can result in serious consequences, and RIAs should adopt robust policies and procedures to prevent and detect contributions made to influence the selection of the firm by a government entity.
Starting in January, the Massachusetts Securities Division will require that any person seeking to be registered as an investment advisor in the state must first consent to a background check via the Massachusetts Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system.
The Division announced Thursday that the requirement applies to all investment advisor representatives applying for registration in Massachusetts, “irrespective of whether they are associated with state or federally registered investment advisors.” However, the rule does not apply to those making annual renewal applications.
The securities division sought comments in March on whether to require criminal background checks for advisors. Comments were taken until May 15.
The request for comment, issued by Willam Galvin, secretary of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, said the state’s securities division “believes that it is in the public interest and for the protection of investors to conduct criminal background checks of those individuals seeking IAR registration in order to ensure that the applicant is not subject to a statutory disqualification and has truthfully and accurately disclosed any criminal background required on Form U-4.”
Galvin noted at the time that the division’s Registrations, Inspections, Compliance and Examinations Section was recently granted access to utilize the Massachusetts iCORI system, an electronic criminal history database, in order to conduct these reviews.
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