Regulatory Insights Regarding Compliance Assessments of Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS

These are certainly interesting days.  So much is taking the attention of compliance professionals.  By now everyone has implemented their business continuity plans (BCP) and likely made modifications to them here and there as the true test of these plans has been realized.  BCP has now become yet another compliance ball to juggle for the foreseeable future.  BCP recordkeeping will be important so be sure to track as you go.  Regulators are certain to ask about this in upcoming exams.

Now that everyone is settled into their temporary work environments and any BCP gaps have been shored up, the looming June 30, 2020 compliance date for Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) and Form CRS (client/customer relationship summary) is once again the primary focus for most broker-dealers (BDs) and investment advisers (IAs).  SEC Chairman Jay Clayton has recently signaled there will be no regulatory relief around the June 30th compliance date. 

On April 7th, the Office of Compliance Inspections & Examinations (OCIE) released two Risk Alerts providing BDs and IAs with insight around initial regulatory examinations to assess implementation of Reg BI and Form CRS.  OCIE’s implementation assessment exams will likely occur within one-year of the June 30th compliance date.  FINRA also released a statement that they will take the same approach as OCIE on their initial examinations of firms’ compliance with Reg BI and Form CRS. 

OCIE Risk Alert: Examinations that Focus on Compliance with Regulation Best Interest

OCIE (and FINRA) will assess whether firms made good faith efforts to implement policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the general obligation of Reg BI to make recommendations that are in the best interest of the retail investor before or at the time the recommendation is made.  You demonstrate compliance with the general Reg BI obligation by complying we each of the four (4) component obligations of Reg BI.  The Disclosure Obligation, the Care Obligation, the Conflict of Interest Obligation and the Compliance Obligation. 

The Disclosure Obligation requires BDs, prior to or at the time of a recommendation to a retail customer, to provide written, full and fair disclosure of all material facts relating to the scope and terms of the relationship with the retail customer; and all material facts relating to conflicts of interest that are associated with the recommendation being made to the retail customer.  BDs can expect regulators to review the content of their disclosures as well as ‘other firm records’ to make a compliance assessment. 

  • Do your disclosures define the capacity in which the recommendation is being made? 
  • Do your disclosures provide applicable material fees and costs?
  • Are any material limitations on the securities or investment strategies involving securities that may be recommended to the retail customer included in your disclosures?
  • Are you making your disclosures ‘timely’ (prior to or at the time of recommendation)?

The Care Obligation requires BDs to exercise reasonable diligence, care, and skill when making a recommendation to a retail customer.

  • Does the BD understand potential risks, rewards, and costs associated with the recommendation?
  • Were these factors considered in light of the retail customer’s investment profile?
  • Was the recommendation made in the retail customer’s best interest?

BDs can expect regulators to review the information collected from retail customers to develop their investment profiles (i.e. new account forms, correspondence, agreements between customer and BD).  Regulators will want to understand:

  • The process taken by the BD to determine a reasonable basis exists to believe that the recommendations are in the best interest of the retail customer. 
  • Factors considered by the BD to assess potential risks, rewards, and costs of the recommendations in light of the retail customer’s investment profile.
  • BD’s process for having a reasonable basis to believe that it does not place its financial or other interests ahead of the interest of its retail customers.
  • How the BD makes recommendations related to significant investment decisions, such as rollovers and account recommendations, and how the BD has a reasonable basis to believe that such investment strategies are in a retail customer’s best interest.
  • How the BD makes recommendations related to more complex, risky or expensive products and how the BD has a reasonable basis to believe that such investments are in a retail customer’s best interest.

The Conflict of Interest Obligation requires BDs to establish, maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to address conflicts of interest associated with its recommendations to retail customers. Of course regulators will review the BD’s policies and procedures to determine compliance. 

  • Do your policies and procedures address conflicts that create an incentive for an associated person to place its interest or the interest of the BD ahead of the interest of the retail customer?
  • Do they include material limitations such as only limited product menu, only offering proprietary products, or products with third-party arrangements?
  • Has the BD eliminated sales contests/quotas/bonuses/non-cash compensation based on the sale of specific securities or specific types of securities within a limited period of time?
  • Do the policies and procedures establish a structure for identifying the conflicts that the BD or its associated person may face?
  • Do they provide for disclosing, mitigating or eliminating conflicts?

The Compliance Obligation requires BDs to establish, maintain, and enforce written policies and procedures reasonably designed to achieve compliance with Reg BI as a whole.  Regulators will assess compliance with this obligation by reviewing policies and procedures and evaluating controls, remediation for noncompliance, training, and periodic review and testing of the BD’s policies and procedures.

Included in this Risk Alert is an Appendix that should be reviewed as it provides a sample list of information the regulators may request in order to determine compliance with Reg BI.

OCIE Risk Alert:  Examinations that Focus on Compliance with Form CRS

Unlike with Reg BI, the Form CRS obligation applies to IAs as well as BDs.  BDs and IAs are required to deliver to retail investors a brief relationship summary (Form CRS) providing information about the firm. By June 30, 2020, the Form CRS must be filed with the SEC through Web CRD for BDs, or IARD for IAs (both Web CRD & IARD for dual registrants using one Form CRS for both brokerage and advisory services).  In addition, if the firm has a public website, the Form CRS must be posted there.  After the June 30th compliance date, regulators will assess for a good faith effort to comply with the Form CRS obligation. 

  • Has the firm filed its Form CRS including any amendments?
  • Does the firm have a public website and if so, has the Form CRS been posted there?
  • What is the process for delivering Form CRS to existing and new retail investors?
  • Does the firm’s policies and procedures address the delivery process and dates?
  • Does the Form CRS include all required information; does it contain true and accurate information; does it omit material facts?
  • How does the firm describe the relationship and services it offers, including statements regarding account monitoring and investment authority?
  • How does the firm describe fees and costs?
  • How does the firm describe its conflicts of interest, including incentives related to proprietary products, third-party payments, revenue sharing, and principal trading?
  • Does the firm accurately disclose if the firm or its financial professionals have legal or disciplinary history?
  • Is the Form CRS formatted in accordance with Form CRS instructions?
  • Do policies and procedures provide for Form CRS updating?
  • Has the firm retained applicable records related to its delivery of the Form CRS?

Firms should expect regulators to review records of the dates that each relationship summary was provided to retail investors to validate whether the firm has complied with the delivery obligations. 

  • For existing retail investors, firms must deliver the summary by July 30, 2020 and before or at the time of:
    • Opening a new account that is different from existing accounts held by the retail investor;
    • Recommending a rollover of assets from retirement accounts into a new or existing accounts; or
    • Recommending a new brokerage or investment advisory service or investment that does not necessarily involve the opening of a new account and would not be held in an existing account.
  • For new retail investors, Form CRS must be delivered before or at the earliest of:
    • Entering into an investment advisory contract with the retail investor;
    • Recommending to a retail investor an account type, a securities transaction, or an investment strategy involving securities;
    • Placing an order for the retail investor; or
    • Opening a brokerage account for the retail investor.

A thorough review of these two (2) risk alerts should enable firms to be ready for the initial compliance assessments expected by OCIE and FINRA within one year of the June 30, 2020 compliance date.

Note: RegEd is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If legal or other professional advice is warranted, the services of an appropriate professional should be sought.

About the Author

Margie Webber is the Director, Regulatory Compliance BD/IA at RegEd, Inc.

Observations From FINRA’s January 2020 Disciplinary Actions Report

Outside business activities and private securities transactions were a focus of FINRA’s January 2020 Disciplinary Actions Report with at least nine (9) cases being cited within the report.  Several registered persons were sanctioned for failure to notify and obtain prior written approval from their member firm before engaging in an outside business activity or private securities transactions.  

Those who failed to cooperate with FINRA’s investigation by refusing to provide on-the-record testimony have been barred from the industry. 

For those who did cooperate in the FINRA investigation, all but one received fines.  Fines ranged from $10,000 to $30,000.  (A fine was not issued in one case due to the registered representative’s financial status.)  All received suspensions ranging from three (3) months to eighteen (18) months.  The most egregious case resulted in a $30,000 fine and an eighteen (18) month suspension.  This case involved outside business activities that took place at the member firm branch office and involved customers of the member firm, private securities transactions as well as false statements on annual compliance and branch office questionnaires.   Several other cases also involved false statements on compliance questionnaires.

Sanctions around outside activities vary based on facts and circumstances.  FINRA’s 2019 Sanctions Guidelines provides information on principal considerations and sanctions:

Outside Business Activities

  • Principal considerations in determining sanctions include:
    • Whether the outside activity involved customers of the firm.
    • Whether the outside activity resulted directly or indirectly in injury to other parties, including the investing public, and, if so, the nature and extent of the injury.
    • The duration of the outside activity, the number of customers and the dollar volume of sales.
    • Whether the respondent’s marketing and sale of the product or service could have created the impression that the employer (member firm) had approved the product or service.
    • Whether the respondent misled his or her employer member firm about the existence of the outside activity or otherwise concealed the activity from the firm.
    • The importance of the role played by the respondent in the outside business activity.
  • Monetary fines range from $2,500 to $77,000 (disgorgement could also be considered).
  • Suspensions range from ten (10) days up to two (2) years (or could include a complete bar in lieu of suspension). 

Private Securities Transactions

  • Principal considerations in determining sanctions include:
    • The dollar volume of sales.
    • The number of customers.
    • The length of time over which the selling away activity occurred.
    • Whether the product sold away has been found to involve a violation of federal or state securities laws or federal, state or SRO rules.
    • Whether the respondent had a proprietary or beneficial interest in, or was otherwise affiliated with, the selling enterprise or issuer and, if so, whether respondent disclosed this information to his/her customers.
    • Whether respondent attempted to create the impression that his or her member firm sanctioned the activity, for example, by using the employer’s premises, facilities, name and/or goodwill for the selling away activity or by selling a product similar to the products that the member firm sells.
  • Monetary fines range from $5,000 to $77,000 (disgorgement could also be considered).
  • Suspensions range from ten (10) days to twelve (12) months based on extent of selling away (dollar amount of sales, number of customers, length of time over which selling away occurred).

Although FINRA’s 2020 Risk Monitoring & Examinations Priorities Letter did not flag outside activities specifically as an examination priority (other than a digital asset footnote), their January 2020 Disciplinary Actions Report certainly evidences an ongoing regulatory focus on outside activities.

How confident are you in your compliance program around outside business activities and private securities transactions?  When was the last time you trained your registered persons on how to report such activities to your firm for approval?  Are you adequately supervising the activities you do approve or condition? How are you documenting your supervision of these activities?  If you’ve denied activities, do you monitor to ensure activities aren’t taking place?  Do you have best practices in place to validate the information you receive in response to your annual compliance questionnaires and branch office questionnaires?  Do you require your non-registered persons to report such outside activities as a best practice?

RegEd is ready to assist with your compliance challenges.  Our solutions deliver proven, robust, compliance-optimized capabilities that enable extraordinary efficiency and strong compliance oversight, dramatically reducing the risk of non-compliance.  If you’d like to learn more, schedule a personalized consultation with our solution and subject matter experts. We’ll provide an overview of how RegEd’s enterprise platform enables our clients to improve efficiency, effectiveness and transparency across the enterprise.

SEC and FINRA Exam Priorities to Include Firms’ AML Compliance Programs, Including Policies and Procedures

SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) has issued its examination priorities for 2020. According to the document, OCIE will assess the adequacy of firms’ AML compliance programs, including relevant policies and procedures. AML Compliance was also cited by FINRA as an area of focus in its recent 2020 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter.

The Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions, including broker-dealers and investment companies, to establish anti-money laundering (AML) programs. These programs must, among other things, include policies and procedures reasonably designed to identify and verify the identity of customers and beneficial owners of legal entity customers…Given the importance of these requirements, OCIE will continue to prioritize examining broker-dealers and investment companies for compliance with their AML obligations...”
– 2020 SEC Examination Priorities

Do you have the right tools in place to manage AML compliance?

Training
A robust training program is a core element of compliance with anti‐money laundering regulations. RegEd’s Anti-Money Laundering Training solutions deliver a streamlined user experience that enables insurance and securities professionals to satisfy AML training requirements with minimal disruption, while enterprise reporting capabilities enable administrators to monitor requirements and completion status.

Policies and Procedures
RegEd’s Policies and Procedures Management provides an enterprise workflow and task management solution that enables comprehensive, end-to-end administration and oversight of all elements of the firm’s policies and procedures.

Read more about RegEd’s Policies and Procedures Management solution.

Read more about RegEd’s AML training solution.

FINRA Priorities Letter Highlights Customer Communications as the Subject of Heightened Focus for 2020

FINRA’s 2020 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter serves to document areas of emphasis for the coming year, which firms may consider for opportunities to improve their compliance and supervisory programs. Among the highlights in the 2020 letter is an emphasis on firms’ compliance with obligations relating to FINRA Rule 2210 (Communications with the Public), including their marketing, advertising and sales materials.

FINRA will review how firms review, approve, supervise and distribute retail communications regarding private placement securities via online distribution platforms, as well as traditional channels.
– FINRA 2020 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter

Learn how leading firms partner with RegEd to streamline advertising compliance review and drive faster time to market.

Leading firms that together employ hundreds of thousands of registered representatives have selected RegEd’s Advertising Review, which delivers a single, integrated solution that streamlines the end-to-end processes for advertising and customer communication submission, review, collaboration and approval, speeding time to market for review items.

Read more about RegEd’s Advertising Review solution.

Case Study: Learn how CUNA Mutual increased efficiency in their advertising review process

SEC’s 2020 Examination Priorities Demonstrate a Continued Focus on Conflicts of Interest, Including Outside Business Activities

SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) has issued its examination priorities for 2020. According to the report, OCIE will continue its focus on the protection of retail investors, including seniors and those saving for retirement. Examinations in these areas will include reviews of disclosures relating to fees, expenses, and conflicts of interest.

“Registered firms must effectively implement controls and systems to ensure disclosures are made as required and that a firm’s actions match those disclosures… Examinations will relatedly focus on registered firms’ disclosures and supervision of outside business activities of its employees and associated persons, and any conflicts that may arise from those activities.
– 2020 Examination Priorities, Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Do you have the right tools in place to manage conflicts of interest?

RegEd’s fully integrated Conflicts of Interest Management solution suite enables firms to seamlessly monitor, identify and remediate conflicts of interest and code of conduct issues. The solution captures a full audit trail of requests, approvals, exceptions and remediation, and provides ready documentation for internal and external regulatory reporting.

The solution suite, including Outside Business Activities, leverages RegEd’s powerful platform capabilities to enable comprehensive monitoring, task management, alerts and sophisticated hierarchy management.

Read more about RegEd’s Conflicts of Interest solution suite.

Read more about RegEd’s Outside Business Activities solution.

Key Takeaways: FINRA’s 2019 Report on Examination Findings and Observations

On October 16, 2019, FINRA published its 2019 Report on FINRA Examination Findings and Observations.  This report is a useful resource for firms to leverage to improve their compliance and risk management programs. 

One of the findings in the report pertains to failure to effectively monitor for and react to regulatory changes.  Firms are required to review regulatory changes against their supervisory systems, including their written supervisory procedures and training programs.  FINRA found that some firms did not adequately respond to recent regulatory changes such as FinCen’s new Customer Due Diligence (CDD) obligations and requirements around Financial Exploitation of Specified Adults among other recently adopted or amended rules. 

In addition, branch supervision and inspection programs were found to be inadequate at some firms. The following areas were specifically cited as supervisory and risk management gaps:

  • Failure to fully understand the activities that are taking place at branch offices, including the unique products and services offered at each branch location;
  • Failure to conduct periodic inspections of non-branch locations;
  • Failure to determine relevant areas of review, taking into consideration the nature and complexities of product and service offerings or indicators of irregularities or misconduct;
  • Failure to reduce the inspections and reviews to a written report;
  • Failure to follow through with necessary corrective action.

Suitability once again made the Sales Practice and Supervision hit list. Specific findings included:

  • Inadequate supervision of product exchanges;
  • Failure to identify and respond to red flags;
  • Inadequate oversight around customer account information changes;
  • Failure to recognize unsuitable transaction patterns;
  • Inadequate supervision of trading activities (excessive trading or churning);
  • Inadequate training of supervisors;
  • Unsuitable options strategies to unsophisticated customers.

Digital communications made it into this year’s report.  FINRA specifically noted some firms that prohibit for business-related communications the use of text messaging, social media and collaboration applications such as Facebook, did not maintain a process to identify and respond to red flags around the use of the prohibited digital channel communications.  Red flags could have been detected through adequate customer complaint management, email monitoring, outside business activity (OBA) reviews as well as advertising reviews.  Some effective practices to manage digital communication were flagged, including: 

  • Establishing comprehensive governance structures by leveraging marketing, compliance and technology departments as well as third-party vendors;
  • Defining and controlling permissible digital channels though supervision; records retention; policies and procedures; blocking prohibited channels; restricting use of messaging and collaboration applications that limit the firm’s ability to retain records;
  • WSPs to manage the lifecycle of video content which includes live-streamed public appearances, scripted commercials or video blogs;
  • Training prior to providing RRs access to firm-approved digital channels;
  • Disciplining misuse of digital communications such as temporarily suspending or blocking channels and requiring additional training.

FINRA also shares a number of cybersecurity-related observations and best practices in their 2019 report in hopes of assisting firms with strengthening their cybersecurity programs. The report reminds firms to evaluate each of the best practices and controls described in the report. Highlighted best practices include:

  • Maintaining branch-level written cybersecurity policies to protect confidential data;
  • Implementing procedures to verify that branch office controls were implemented and are functioning adequately;
  • Documenting formal policies and procedures on vendor and third-party management that include onboarding, ongoing monitoring, off-boarding and disposal of sensitive client information;
  • Establishing and regularly testing written formal incident response plans that outline procedures to follow when responding to cybersecurity and information security incidents;
  • Establishing data protection controls such as encryption of confidential data (customer and firm information) whether it is stored internally or at vendor locations;
  • Ensuring system patching is timely applied;
  • Applying a ‘Policy of Least Privilege’ around access controls, by only granting access to systems and data when required and removing such access rights when no longer needed;
  • Implementing multi-factor or two-factor authentication controls for RRs, employees, vendors and contractors accessing firm systems and data from outside the organization;
  • Maintaining an inventory of critical information technology assets, including hardware, software, data in home and branch offices; legacy assets that vendors no longer support as well as corresponding cybersecurity controls to protect these assets;
  • Implementation of data loss prevention controls to protect sensitive customer information such as SSN, dates of birth, bank information, driver’s license numbers;
  • Training for RRs, personnel, third-party providers and consultants;
  • Implementation of change management procedures to document, review, prioritize, test, approve, manage hardware and software changes.

Training staff on how to implement firm business continuity plans (BCPs) was cited as a BCP best practice in addition to engaging in annual testing of the BCP.  Note:  FINRA is currently conducting a retrospective review of FINRA Rule 3270 ~ Business Continuity Plans and Emergency Contact Information.  See FINRA Regulatory Notice 19-06

These are just some of the numerous highlights from the 2019 Report on FINRA Examination Findings and Observations to take into consideration when assessing the adequacy and effectiveness of your firm’s supervisory and risk management operations.

Note: RegEd is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If legal or other professional advice is warranted, the services of an appropriate professional should be sought.

About the Author

Margie Webber is the Director, Regulatory Compliance BD/IA at RegEd, Inc.

Related RegEd Solutions:

RegEd Advertising Review

RegEd Audit Management

RegEd Complaint Management

RegEd Education & Training

RegEd Incident Management

RegEd Outside Business Activities

RegEd Policies & Procedures Management

RegEd Regulatory Change Management

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FINRA Annual Conference

RegEd to Showcase Enterprise Platform Solution at 2019 FINRA Annual Conference

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn how RegEd enables clients to efficiently meet compliance and registration obligations while presenting a unified enterprise view of requirements.

Raleigh, NC, May 10, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — RegEd, the leading provider of compliance technology solutions to broker-dealers and other financial services firms, is pleased to announce its participation at the 2019 FINRA Annual Conference in Washington, DC, May 15-17, 2019.

FINRA’s annual conference provides securities industry practitioners with guidance on regulatory priorities and addresses the compliance and regulatory issues investment advisers and broker-dealers face in today’s evolving industry with interactive forums led by experienced industry veterans and regulators. The conference will offer a variety of sessions related to current trends in technology, cybersecurity, risk management and much more.

During the conference RegEd will showcase its comprehensive platform capabilities and enterprise solutions, and discuss how it delivers the highest levels of efficiency, effectiveness and transparency across the enterprise, enabling firms to:

  • Consolidate vendors and applications to reduce complexity and overall cost of ownership.
  • Simplify the end-user experience to drive improved rep and user satisfaction.
  • Install enterprise-level reporting and dashboards for risk analysis to proactively identify negative trends, mitigate risk and demonstrate compliance.
  • Automate data entry, aggregation and reuse to reduce manual processes and human error.

RegEd representatives will be on-site to meet with conference attendees to understand their compliance challenges and discuss solutions that enable broker-dealers and other financial services firms to meet compliance requirements and proactively manage their compliance program.

The RegEd conference exhibit will be located at booth #13 in the conference’s main exhibitor hall at the Marriot Marquis Washington, DC. For more information on RegEd or its attendance at the FINRA Annual conference, please call 800-334-8322 or email sales@reged.com.

About RegEd

RegEd is the market-leading provider of RegTech enterprise solutions with relationships with more than 200 enterprise clients, including 80% of the top 25 financial services firms.

Established in 2000 by former regulators, the company is recognized for continuous regulatory technology innovation with solutions hallmarked by workflow-directed processes, data integration, regulatory intelligence, automated validations, business process automation and compliance dashboards. The aggregate drives the highest levels of operational efficiency and enables our clients to cost-effectively comply with regulations and continuously mitigate risk.

Trusted by the nation’s top financial services firms, RegEd’s proven, holistic approach to RegTech meets firms where they are on the compliance and risk management continuum, scaling as their needs evolve and amplifying the value proposition delivered to clients. For more information, please visit www.reged.com.

Madelyn Matthews
919-653-5202

Efficiencies with Advertising Review’s Two-Way FINRA Integration

Efficiencies with Advertising Review's Two-Way FINRA Integration

Firms filing their advertisements with FINRA know how time consuming and cumbersome the process can be. Not only does the firm need to review collateral based on internal processes, but they also need to organize and send firm-approved files to FINRA based on FINRA 2210. FINRA offers two ways to initiate the review process – either manually through their web portal, or by integrating with its Advertising Review Electronic Files (AREF) system.

Since AREF was introduced with RegEd’s Advertising Review solution in 2010, firms had the ability to automate the sending process. As of the spring 2018 release, firms can now take advantage of full automation with our two-way integration – send and receive FINRA results, and automatically WORM content (for firms that have RegEd WORM enabled on their workflows). The enhancement provides a holistic solution for end-to-end FINRA filing support. See the following three most exciting features included with Advertising Review’s AREF integration.

Two-Way Integration

Use the built-in AREF integration to send content to FINRA and receive notifications when the status and letter are returned. We’ve done away with waiting or having to manually check FINRA’s portal to see if a decision was made. Advertising Review’s AREF integration takes care of that for you. Not only does it automatically WORM the content (when enabled), it retrieves the status and letter when a decision is made, and notifies the applicable user(s) by email.

FINRA AREF 1

Effortlessly Manage Multiple Filings per Submission

What happens if a file is returned with a status other than ‘OK’ or ‘LIMITED’? How can you track the progress of updating the collateral and resubmitting to FINRA? That’s easy with Advertising Review’s history log. Directly in the submissions, users can view the snapshot of FINRA correspondence. Then with a few clicks, users can dive deeper to view individual filings, fee estimates, current status, and more.

FINRA AREF 2

Actionable & Accurate Reporting

Due to FINRA’s 2210 requirements, it is important that firms adhere to the rule to avoid being penalized. One way RegEd’s Advertising Review solution makes this easier is with the dedicated FINRA report. In addition to metadata directly related to FINRA filings, the export includes result details, status information (including applicable dates), fee amounts, as well as any Additional Documentation notes included with the submission. The report provides firms the power and flexibility to mitigate or eliminate gaps in their FINRA filing process.

FINRA AREF

Not using RegEd’s Advertising Review solution? Contact sales@reged.com or 888.334.8322 today!

Already using RegEd’s Advertising Review solution but not AREF? Contact your Relationship Manager today to learn how to add it to your subscription.

RegEd to Showcase Enterprise Platform Solution at 2018 FINRA Annual Conference

RegEd to Showcase Enterprise Platform Solution at 2018 FINRA Annual Conference

Attendees will have the opportunity to learn how RegEd enables clients to efficiently meet obligations across compliance management, conflicts of interest, education, and licensing and registration processes

RegEd, the leading provider of compliance technology solutions to broker-dealers and other financial services firms, is pleased to announce its participation at the 2018 FINRA Annual Conference in Washington, DC, May 21-23, 2018.

FINRA's annual conference provides securities industry practitioners with guidance on regulatory priorities and addresses the compliance and regulatory issues investment advisers and broker-dealers face in today's evolving industry with interactive forums led by experienced industry veterans and regulators. The conference will offer a variety of sessions related to current trends in technology, cybersecurity, risk management and much more.

RegEd's CEO & Founder, John M. Schobel, stated, "The FINRA Annual Conference provides an important forum for regulators, industry firms and solution providers, like RegEd, to engage in dialog about key trends and critical compliance challenges."

Mr. Schobel continued, "As the industry continues to shift toward technology consolidation and a streamlined rep and user experience, firms have increasingly turned to RegEd because of our unique ability to comprehensively address a wide breadth of compliance challenges with a single enterprise solution. We look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate the value that RegEd’s enterprise platform delivers.”

During the conference RegEd will showcase its comprehensive platform capabilities and enterprise solutions, and discuss how it delivers the highest levels of efficiency, effectiveness and transparency across the enterprise, enabling firms to:

  • Consolidate vendors and applications to reduce complexity and overall cost of ownership.
  • Simplify the end-user experience to drive improved rep and user satisfaction.
  • Install enterprise-level reporting and dashboards for risk analysis to proactively identify negative trends, mitigate risk and demonstrate compliance.
  • Automate data entry, aggregation and reuse to reduce manual processes and human error.

RegEd representatives will be on-site to meet with conference attendees to understand their compliance challenges and discuss solutions that enable broker-dealers and other financial services firms to meet compliance requirements and proactively manage their compliance program.

The RegEd conference exhibit will be located at booth #16 in the conference’s main exhibitor hall at the Marriot Marquis Washington, DC. For more information on RegEd or its attendance at the FINRA Annual conference, please call 800-334-8322 or email sales@reged.com.

About RegEd

RegEd is the market-leading provider of RegTech enterprise solutions with relationships with more than 400 enterprise clients, including 80% of the top 25 financial services firms. Established in 1994 by former regulators, the company is recognized for continuous regulatory technology innovation with solutions hallmarked by workflow-directed processes, data integration, regulatory intelligence, automated validations, business process automation and compliance dashboards. The aggregate drives the highest levels of operational efficiency and enables our clients to cost-effectively comply with regulations and continuously mitigate risk.

RegEd Announces Innovations in Branch Audit-Management Capabilities as Part of Enterprise Compliance-Platform

RegEd Announces Innovations in Branch Audit Management Capabilities as Part of Enterprise Compliance Platform

Increased automation, improved data management and simplified user experience streamline the end-to-end process of planning, conducting and resolving branch audits

RegEd, the leading provider of Compliance Management, Licensing and Registration, and Education solutions to the financial services industry, has announced the rollout of an upgraded version of its industry-leading Enterprise Branch Audit Management. The release is the result of significant investment and ongoing technology innovation to enable greater levels of automation and improved data accuracy in firms’ branch audit and inspections programs.

Branch Audit Management 4.0 incorporates more than three years of market input gained through continuous collaboration with more than 20 leading firms. Through this process RegEd identified growing needs among firms to consolidate multiple systems used to manage branch audits, to more efficiently and accurately manage audit data, and to effectively identify, mitigate and resolve audit deficiencies in a timely manner. In response RegEd has delivered the capability to view and manage audits from a single comprehensive system, introduced audit data pre-population capabilities to streamline data management, and enhanced its audit response system to enable firms to more efficiently close the loop on audits and deficiencies.

Increased automation and improved efficiency throughout the audit lifecycle have resulted in significantly streamlined audit management for RegEd’s clients. Adam Schaub, AVP & Chief Compliance Officer at 1st Global stated, “Our audit close-out letter goal is 30 days post inspection. After implementing RegEd’s Branch Audit Management solution, the first close-out letter was sent on the first day, and subsequent close-out letters also showed marked improvement in the inspection cycle.”

Branch Audit Management 4.0 also offers expanded offline audit capability, automatic identification of repeat deficiencies, simultaneous auditor access, an updated task dashboard, multi-level workflows and more. In addition to enabling firms to maintain compliance with regulations such as FINRA 3110 and 3120, Branch Audit Management greatly reduces manual tasks for individual auditors. For example, automated pre-population of data from other sources, such as client databases and questionnaires, materially reduces time spent manually referencing other systems, increasing audit capacity per auditor and improving data accuracy.

Enterprise Branch Audit Management is part of the RegEd enterprise compliance platform, which enables data sharing across modules and a clear view of the status of compliance obligations, including branch audits, at the company or individual level. Enterprise Branch Audit Management is now available for current and prospective users.  To request a demonstration or further information, visit www.reged.com

About RegEd

RegEd is a leading provider of compliance technology solutions with relationships with more than 400 enterprise clients, including 80% of the top 25 broker-dealers and top 25 insurance companies. Established in 1994 by former regulators, the company is a recognized industry authority and has created the standard of excellence for rule-based and content-driven compliance automation for insurance companies, investment advisors and broker-dealers.  RegEd solutions drive new levels of operational efficiency and enable firms to cost-effectively comply with regulations and mitigate risk.  For more information, visit www.reged.com

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