FINRA and SEC Compliance
In an ever changing regulatory environment, it is important to stay current and avoid the pitfalls that could result in investor harm, financial and reputational losses to the firm. GMAG will assist your firm in creating a culture of compliance in the following areas:
1. New Business Lines- (FINRA Rule 1017)
GMAG will help your firm navigate the Continuing Membership Application (“CMA”) process and develop up to date Written Supervisory Procedures supporting your business goals.
2. Know Your Customer- (FINRA Rule 2090) and Suitability (FINRA Rule 2111)
FINRA’s Know Your Customer Rule (FINRA Rule 2090) requires firms to ask questions to open and service customer accounts. In addition, the SEC requires firms to attempt to obtain a customer’s name, tax identification number, address, telephone number, date of birth, employment status, annual income, net worth (excluding primary residence), and investment objectives regarding certain accounts. GMAG will review your current KYC program, and implement improvements to ensure it is meeting the regulatory requirements mandated by these rules.
3. Anti-Money Laundering- (FINRA Rule 3310)
GMAG can help firms develop and implement a written Anti-Money Laundering program reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA PATRIOT ACT. We will work with senior management in the development of procedures which will detect suspicious activity and create controls designed to achieve compliance with the act. GMAG may also provide advice in securing third party assistance for electronic AML surveillance.
4. Policies and Procedures
GMAG will help to establish and maintain a reasonably designed system of written procedures to supervise the activities of personnel and achieve compliance with FINRA and federal securities laws.
We will also review and test procedures to determine their effectiveness in meeting supervisory requirements mandated by FINRA and the SEC.
General Compliance Advisory
To keep you up to date, we can monitor regulatory developments that are relevant to your business and advise you on how to respond and help you update your existing compliance program.
1. Remediation of Regulatory Exam Findings and Deficiencies
GMAG can help you firm respond to exam findings by addressing indicated areas of concern. We will work with your firm to provide a timely accurate response for any deficiencies noted in findings.
2. Supervisory Assessments– (FINRA rule 3110)
Establishing supervision and supervisory control systems remain a highly important issue. A major undertaking facing broker dealers has been to establish, maintain and ultimately enforce an effective supervisory program that satisfies the requirements of FINRA and the SEC. GMAG will review your firm’s supervisory control systems to ensure it is reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable securities laws and regulations.
3. Regulatory Technology Assessment and Design Including Record Retention
GMAG will give firms a clear review of systematic tools in place to meet regulatory requirements and recommend improvements. We will conduct an inventory of the functional and technical aspects of current systems in place and create a detailed specification document for review purposes.
4. Rule and Policy Development Advice
GMAG can help assess current procedures to confirm they are aligned with industry best practices.
Audits and Investigations
As former practitioners, we have first hand experience in dealing with regulators. We can help position your regulatory program so it addresses their expectations and recommend ways to run the program more efficiently.
1. Responding to Regulatory Inquiries and Complaints
GMAG will help your firm prepare for upcoming examinations by reviewing and producing documentation and providing regulators an organized approach to their review. We will also assist your firm in navigating the examiners through the process of review.
2. Crisis Management
GMAG can help identify key areas associated with risk and remediate those areas by proactively responding to the related deficiencies. Whether operational or supervisory, we will help create an approach to tackle systemic risks associated in conducting your business.
3. Internal Investigations
When investigations occur, the Compliance Department usually focuses on whether a given activity or transaction violates firm policy and procedures, laws, rules/ regulations, or industry standards. GMAG will review your firm’s processes and determine whether appropriate systems are in place to detect and prevent such conduct.
4. Independent Monitoring and Audits
Monitoring business activity facilitates ongoing compliance with firm policies and regulatory requirements. Compliance personnel should develop ways to asses, at their early stages, patterns and practices of improper behavior, systemic issues and potential product-related problems. GMAG will assist Compliance Department personnel in developing a risk-based approach of surveillance as an effective means to identify areas of concern.
The decision to “go public” is one of the most important decisions a company will make in its lifetime. For many businesses, becoming public is the ultimate goal and an affirmation of success.
1. Going Public
Provide a broad network of experts to navigate the roadmap in going public including exchange selection process. It is imperative to understand each venue’s offerings and models to make an appropriate decision for your listing. We offer an insiders viewpoint for this process.
2. Listing Process
GMAG can help companies reduce the uncertainty of the listing process. Our experts will be the principal contact with the exchanges to assist companies with application preparation and submission process. Our roster includes former NYSE executives familiar with the process.
3. Maintaining Listing
Exchange rules can be complex and overwhelming for companies. Maintaining a listing, demands frequent attention to ensure companies meet the on-going listing requirements.
4. Unlock Value of Being Listed
GMAG will help companies understand the hidden value of services offered by exchanges and assist companies in using their listing to create branding and marketing opportunities.
5. Understand How “it” Happened
GMAG professionals are former practitioners who understand market structure and can help your firm answer questions with respect to the activity in your stock. We understand the current characteristics of the market and can offer guidance on how trades happen and affect your listing.