States give RIAs more time to get help with multiple registrations

New deadline to sign up for coordinated review program is April 30

Mar 28, 2012 @ 3:50 pm

By Dan Jamieson

RIA firms that must switch from Securities and Exchange Commission to state oversight this year have another month to sign up for a coordinated review program offered by state regulators.

The North American Securities Administrators Association Inc. today said advisers have until April 30 to enroll.

The program is for registered investment adviser firms that must register with anywhere from four to 14 states. Under the program, a lead manager acts as a facilitator in coordinating state reviews of applications.

NASAA spokesman Bob Webster did not know the number of participants to date, but he said use of the program has been “ramping up” as the March 30 deadline approaches for notifying the SEC about eligibility for remaining a federally registered adviser.

“We thought we could push [the review-program deadline] out another month, and let [advisers] take advantage” of it, he said.

“We figured that advisers at the last minute will be figuring out that they need to switch,” added Melanie Lubin, Maryland's securities commissioner, who was involved in designing the program.

To participate in the coordinated-review program, advisers must submit a form found on NASAA's Switch Resource Center website , as well as required documents. There is no cost for using the service.

But the coordinated review program won't necessarily help advisers registering in California, where a backlog has caused delays in getting approvals, said Dave Campbell, a compliance consultant in Palo Alto who has not used the program for his RIA clients.

Compliance experts note that final authority to approve applications remains with each state, not the facilitator.

NASAA also today added to its resource center a listing of states and their various registration requirements for advisers. The new section is called “State Investment Adviser Registration Information.”

Finding registration information at individual state sites is sometimes difficult for first-time users, Mr. Webster said, thus the new portal should help.

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