On the Road Again: West Coast Edition

Portland-StatueBy Chris Hayes, FSI State Regulatory Affairs Counsel

It’s time to head to the West Coast! As the next set of meetings under FSI’s State Outreach Plan, were about to commence, my colleague Robin Traxler and I flew to the Washington state to discuss a variety of issues affecting advisors in that state with regulators of the Securities Division of the Washington Department of Financial Institutions. Joining us at the meeting were Dave Carratt of Symetra Investment Services; John Bowman of Raymond James Financial Services; Carrie Fleisher of M Holdings Securities, Inc.; and William Beatty, Joanne Jones, Faith Anderson, Jill Vallely, and Dan Matthews of the Securities Division.

While in the Pacific Northwest, we also attended a meeting with the Oregon Division of Finance and Corporate Securities. Dave Carratt of Symetra Investment ServicesJohn Bowman of Raymond James Financial Services; Ken Ehinger of M Holdings Securities, Inc.; and Van Pounds, Diane Carney, Terry Gorecki, Craig McCulloch, and Catherine Shimota, of the Oregon DFCS.

The meetings in Washington and Oregon allowed our members to learn more about the reasoning behind certain regulations in Washington state, including the use of professional designations, restrictions on the usage of certain titles, dual registration issues,  and the concept of equity crowdfunding, which we’ve seen in other states as well. Also, Washington state regulators gave us an update on the progress of NASAA in crafting guidance on non-traded REITs and BDC products, and the new rule allowing general solicitation of private placements. In Oregon, we discussed Oregon’s rule regarding joint/several liability for independent RIA firms.

In sum, the meetings in Washington and Oregon went well. We were able to address a number of member questions about Washington and Oregon regulations, as well as gain clarity in understanding how each state was applying these rules. Both states appear to be very focused on working together with industry to do what’s right for investors. It was great to meet with the regulators in each state and learn about the issues they face in their respective situations as well. Stay tuned for more!

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