Employees of Registered IAs Must Generally be Registered
State-registered investment advisory firms need to make sure that their employees who are deemed to be “investment advisory representatives” are appropriately registered. This means that any employee (or owner) of the IA firm who provides investment advice or who has supervisory authority will generally need to be registered with the state as a representative of the firm. In order to register, the applicant will need to have certain qualifications and generally the series 65 will be sufficient for these purposes.
There are consequences for not properly registering employees as investment advisor representatives. In an earlier article on whether IA firms can have silent owners, we discussed the fact that many state administrators have the power to censure or fine IA firms if they do not follow the registration rules. I recently stumbled across an example of a state taking such an action.
In the attached Disciplinary Order, the Texas State Securities Board (“Board”) concluded that the “unregistered employee” of the registered investment advisory firm provided investment advice to IA clients for compensation and that the IA firm failed to maintain a supervisory system reasonably designed to ensure compliance with the Texas Securities Act and Board Rules. The Board reprimanded the IA firm and also ordered an administrative fine of $5,000. The firm was required to comply with the Act and Board Rules moving forward.
The two important take-aways from this order are:
- Always make sure employees are registered or clearly exempt from registration, and
- Always ensure that you have an up-to-date compliance program that helps to ensure that the firm will operate within all applicable laws and regulations.
We always recommend that registered IA firms discuss any registration and compliance related matters with an experienced investment management attorney with detailed knowledge of the laws of the state where the firm is registered.
Other related hedge fund law articles:
- Hedge Funds and Insider Trading
- Hedge Fund Laws
- IA Registration Tips
- How to register as an Investment Advisor
- New Hedge Fund Regulation
- Investment Advisor Books and Records Requirement
- Net Capital Requirement for State Registered IA Firms
- Withdrawing from IA Registration
Bart Mallon, Esq. of Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP runs Hedge Fund Law Blog. Mr. Mallon’s legal practice is devoted to helping emerging and start up hedge fund managers successfully launch a hedge fund. If you are a hedge fund manager who is looking to start a hedge fund or if you have questions about your investment advisor compliance program, please contact us or call Mr. Mallon directly at 415-868-5345.