New York Investment Adviser Representatives to Become Subject to Licensing (Finally)

On December 1, 2020, New York Attorney General James announced rules that will require the licensing of investment adviser representatives (“IARs”) in New York. IARs will be required to register through the Central Registration Depository/Investment Adviser Registration Depository. If you render investment advice from a place of business in New York, now is the time to begin reviewing the rule and your licensing obligations. This new law applies even if you previously filed a NY-IAQ on behalf of a state-registered investment adviser.

Beginning on February 1, 2021, IARs of both state-registered and federally registered investment advisers will be required to meet examination requirements and register with the state. The licensing fee is $200 and will be the second most expensive in the country behind Georgia.

The rule contains an implementation period, which will allow those currently engaged in business to continue their business without an approved registration until December 2, 2021.

The rule also provides for an examination waiver for people who have been serving as IARs for at least two years prior to February 1, 2021 so long as they are not disqualified. Disqualifying events include being subject to any regulatory or civil action, proceeding or arbitration, either pending or in the preceding ten (10) years from the date of application, that would require disclosure on Form U4, or that person has been notified or has reason to believe that they currently are or remain the subject of a regulatory or law enforcement investigation related to investment-related activities.

The Office of the Attorney General provided helpful information for financial professionals and compliance departments that summarize what should be done to apply and request an examination waiver.

If you need any help (i) in determining whether you qualify for an examination waiver, (ii) how to file a Form U4, (iii) whether you must amend your firm’s notice filings, (iv) when you must file your application, or (v) in preparing and submitting your Form U4, do not hesitate reaching out.

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