The Securities and Exchange Commission wants to eliminate the need for investors to have to search two databases to find registration information on broker-dealers and investment advisors.
In a study released today, the SEC recommends that investors be able to find registration information on both broker-dealers and investment advisors, regardless of whether investors are using BrokerCheck or IAPD. BrokerCheck is a free search tool on the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Web site that allows investors to research the professional backgrounds of current and former Finra-registered brokerage firms and representatives. IAPD, the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure search system on the SEC Web site, allows visitors to find registered investment advisor information, including annual ADV forms filed by RIAs.
The study also recommends that BrokerCheck and IAPD search functions be expanded to permit searches for broker-dealers, investment advisors, registered representatives and investment advisor representatives based on zip code or other indicator of location. Investors now must at least enter part of a firm or individual name to search. Investors who are interested in finding and comparing advisors in a particular location have no easy way to do that now on either site.
The SEC study also recommends that that BrokerCheck and IAPD include more educational content, such as links and definitions.
The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act required the SEC to study ways to make it easier for investors to find information about RIAs, broker-dealers and those affiliated with those firms. The act requires recommendations to be completed within 18 months of the study.