A well-known national speaker was seeking to expand the use of his seminars among financial professionals. He had engaged a national marketing company to assist in the design and marketing of his seminar program. The national speaker and marketing company had found over time that a lot of broker/dealers would not permit the use of the seminar or similar type materials without them being previously reviewed by FINRA. The marketing company contacted FIC for its assistance in addressing this problem.
Our Methodology and Processes
An initial conference call was held with the marketing company providing a general background of the client, the issue they were facing, and an overview of the material. After agreement to our proposal, the marketing company submitted the seminar information to FIC for review.
We conducted an extensive review of the seminar. A detailed report was prepared by our firm indicating those statements that would need revision or deletion to comply with applicable regulations, figures and charts that needed additional annotations, additional suggestions, and the rationale behind such comments. The marketing company, in conjunction with the national speaker, made various amendments requested or suggested by FIC.
The marketing company submitted the final version of the seminar to FIC. We concluded that the piece would not face material objections from FINRA or other broker/dealers. We then submitted the seminar along with memorandums and other notes of clarity to FINRA for review. FINRA’s Advertising Department was then contacted within the next 48 hours to ensure receipt, gauge expected turnaround time, and to provide additional insight that could improve the speed at which FINRA would review the seminar. Thereafter, we contacted FINRA’s Advertising Department on a regular basis for status updates.
FINRA sent FIC a comment letter stating that they had no material objections to any statements or any of the contents contained in the seminar. The content letter and final version of the seminar were sent back to the marketing company. The marketing company and the national speaker were then able to provide broker/dealers a copy of the FINRA comment letter along with the seminar. This substantially eased any concerns on the part of broker/dealers and led to various broker/dealers allowing their financial professionals to use the seminar.
They have continued to utilize FIC to review and submit to FINRA revised versions of the seminar since the first review. Further, the marketing company has utilized FIC on various other projects in expanding its services and in seeking guidance.
How Can FIC Help?
Our capabilities and our experience with FINRA, SEC, and state regulations governing communications has enabled us to assist broker/dealers, investment advisers, and marketing companies in understanding and complying with regulations. Whether it is to outsource communication reviews, obtain guidance on individual pieces, serve as contact with compliance departments, or have communications submitted for FINRA reviews, our capabilities helps your firm achieve compliance and/or obtain growth.