Financial institutions

Department of Financial Institutions: Wisconsin passes new rule requiring continuing education for investment advisor representatives

MADISON, Wis. – The Securities Division of the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) today announced the publication in the Wisconsin Administrative Code of CR 21-057, creating the administrative rule of DFI-Sec Chapter 11 which requires both state and federal registration. covered representatives of investment advisers to attend annual continuing education. The new rule comes into effect on January 1, 2023.

Investment Advisor Representatives play an important role in the financial well-being of thousands of Wisconsin investors by providing advice on important financial decisions such as retirement planning. Unlike other financial services professionals, investment advisor representatives were not subject to a continuing education requirement to ensure that their knowledge and skills were maintained or expanded. DFI-Sec Chapter 11 addresses this professional development gap to further protect Wisconsin investors.

“This continuing education requirement will help promote increased regulatory compliance while helping investment advisor representatives better serve their clients by ensuring they stay informed of current regulatory requirements and best practices,” Cheryll said. Olson-Collins, designated secretary of DFI.

Other states are adopting similar continuing education requirements for investment advisor representatives, including Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi and Vermont, and more states are expected to follow.

DFI-Sec Chapter 11 requires each investment advisor representative to complete 12 continuing education credits annually to maintain their investment advisor representative registration. The 12 credits must include six credits of courses on products and practices and six credits of courses on ethics and professional responsibility. Representatives of Registered Investment Advisors in Wisconsin will begin taking and reporting continuing education courses in calendar year 2023.

DFI-Sec Chapter 11 takes into consideration additional mandatory continuing education programs for investment advisor representatives who are dual-registered as broker-dealer agents and investment advisor representatives whose professional designations are subordinate to the completion of continuing education. The new rule is intended to be compatible with other continuing education programs that aim to ensure that its members stay abreast of industry issues relevant to the services and products offered to their clients.

Investment advisor representatives must take courses from course providers that meet specific criteria established by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). This information can be found on the NASAA website, and the DFI recommends that investment advisor representatives check the website frequently for updates and information relating to course availability.

Questions regarding Wisconsin’s continuing education requirement may be directed to the IFD Securities Division at [email protected] or (608) 266-2139.