NEWARK – Acting Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin and the Bureau of Securities (“the Bureau”) within the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced the release of the Bureau’s Annual Investment Adviser Examination.
The Bureau, which regulates New Jersey’s securities industry, uses the examination as a risk assessment tool for the almost 900 registered registered investment adviser firms that manage hundreds of thousands of clients’ investment accounts in the State.
“The annual examination is a critical part of investor protection. It helps the Bureau proactively identify and address potentially problematic practices before investors are harmed,” said Acting Attorney General Platkin. “New Jersey’s Uniform Securities Law and related regulations permit the Bureau to conduct both routine and for-cause examinations of investment advisers, as well as broker-dealers.”
Firms are required to provide responses to questions about their business activities, including portfolio composition, compliance with regulatory requirements, and customer complaints. The questions are updated each year to reflect changes in the investment adviser industry and the Bureau’s examination priorities.
“The examination helps the Bureau track emerging trends in the securities market, assess risks to investors, and ensure compliance with securities law and industry standards,” said Acting Consumer Affairs Director Cari Fais. “It is a key tool in the Bureau’s efforts to protect investors.”
The information collected in the annual examination allows the Bureau to create risk profiles and ramp up oversight when necessary to protect investors and also helps the Bureau identify industry trends as they are emerging and assess the risks they may pose to investors.
This year’s examination questions include inquiry about investment adviser management of non-fungible tokens – NFTs, which are increasing in popularity within the securities, cryptocurrency, and digital space.
The examination also reemphasizes the importance of policies and procedures aimed at preventing and detecting violations of the laws and regulations governing investment advisers.
“Required policies and procedures aid in the prevention and detection of Securities Law violations, benefitting both large and small investment advisers,” said Acting Bureau Chief Amy Kopleton. “When reasonably implemented, they provide guidance and help firms align with industry best practices.”
The investment adviser examination can be accessed on the Bureau’s website at www.NJSecurities.gov beginning June 14th.
The Bureau is charged with protecting investors from investment fraud and regulating the securities industry in New Jersey. It is critical that investors “Check Before You Invest.” Investors can obtain information, including the registration status and disciplinary history, of any financial professional doing business in or from New Jersey, by contacting the Bureau toll-free within New Jersey at 1-866-I-INVEST (1-866-446-8378) or from outside New Jersey at 973-504-3600, or by visiting the Bureau’s website (www.NJSecurities.gov). Investors can also contact the Bureau for assistance or raise issues or complaints about New Jersey-based financial professionals or investments.
The mission of the Division of Consumer Affairs, within the Department of Law and Public Safety, is to protect the public from fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, and professional misconduct in the sale of goods and services in New Jersey through education, advocacy, regulation and enforcement. The Division pursues its mission through its 51 professional and occupational boards that oversee 720,000 licensees in the state, its Regulated Business section that oversees 60,000 NJ registered businesses, as well as through its Office of Consumer Protection, Bureau of Securities, Charities Registration section, Office of Weights and Measures, and Legalized Games of Chance section.