Talks in Tallahassee

Meeting-from-AboveAs part of FSI’s State Outreach Plan, members of FSI’s advocacy team traveled to Tallahassee last month to meet with Commissioner Drew Breakspear and members of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR). Those present were Deputy Commissioner Gregory Hila, Pamela Epting, Director of the Securities Division, Lee Kell, Chief of Enforcement, and Alisa Goldberg, Chief of Registration. FSI members Seth Miller of Transamerica Financial Advisors and Don Runkle of Raymond James Financial Services were also in attendance.

FSI has its second largest member presence in Florida, with 11 member broker-dealers and 2,470 individual financial advisor members located in the state. FSI has a very productive relationship with the OFR and has actively worked with them, most recently playing an integral role in the passage of Fla. Stat. 517.1202, which made approval of branch office applications automatic. FSI worked with the Securities Division and the Florida legislature to initiate this important change in the process.

FSI initiated the meeting to continue its productive relationship with the OFR.  The meeting began with FSI’s members describing their firms and client base, which are main-stream, middle-class Americans. Both sides discussed a range of topics including crowdfunding, elder abuse, Florida’s social media legislation and spreading financial literacy in Florida.

FSI and the OFR also discussed some of the OFR’s regulatory initiatives for 2014. The OFR stated that it is currently working to streamline and consolidate its rules and will specifically target rules that are overly burdensome and/or duplicative.

Director Epting told the FSI staff about a NASAA task force to improve FINRA’s Form U4. The tasks for includes representatives from NASAA and FINRA and will seek input from the industry. FSI expressed an interest in FSI members being included on the task force and offered to provide input on the Form U4 changes.

The meeting was very informative for FSI’s members, and it was a great chance to continue FSI’s productive relationship with OFR. Stay tuned for more state meetings in 2014!

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