Yet another regulatory victory has been achieved for investment advisor representatives (IARs). As a direct result of FSI’s advocacy efforts, the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Securities Unit recently announced that they will waive their new requirement that IARs hold a Series 65 or 66 license for individuals “employed as IARs as of August 1, 2013.” This means existing IARs, who have been providing investment advice to clients, will be able to register with the state without having to sit for an exam. New IARs who became employed in the state after August 1, 2013, will be required to sit for the exam and register with the state, but will have a 90-day grace period running from November 1, 2013, to January 31, 2014, in which to become registered. The Department previously granted waivers for individuals who hold certain professional designations in good standing or are registered as IARs with other states. However, they held off implementing a “grandfathering” provision until they could gather more information, and today’s announcement completes the Department’s guidance on the requirement.
FSI applauds the Minnesota Department of Commerce on their decision to “grandfather in” IARs and their willingness to take FSI members’ input into consideration. The Department previously met with FSI representatives and members to gather input on how to implement the new registration requirement. FSI members demonstrated that IARs who were providing investment advice in Minnesota prior to the requirement are well qualified by virtue of their experience and encouraged the Department to waive the exam requirement for existing IARs and those with certain designations. After the meeting, the Department sought information from FSI members on their existing IARs in Minnesota. FSI collected the data and provided it to the Department. We appreciate the Department’s willingness to work with us and our members and for its careful consideration of our comments and input. This is yet another example of how collaboration between regulators, the industry and investors leads to efficient solutions for all parties.