Tired of trying to figure out what you are paying for your BD consulting services?
Frustrated because you‘ve been handed off to a junior consultant and can’t get answers?
FirstMark’s Philosophy …
FirstMark was founded to provide high-quality, expert investment adviser and broker-dealer consulting services at competitive prices. In an industry in which quality varies widely, some end up paying a high price for services of questionable quality. And worse, prices aren’t easily discernable. Instead, they can be buried in monthly contracts for bundled services that are seldom used. That is why FirstMark seeks to offer a high-quality RIA and BD consulting product at a cost that is totally transparent.
Quality is not only about delivering a product that is technically accurate. It is also about delivering a product that the client and the regulators will respect.
Hiring a consultant with extensive broker-dealer expertise is a must in today’s challenging regulatory environment. FirstMark has the expertise to deliver a high-quality product, and to deliver it on time. FirstMark understands that the costs of regulation have increased, while margins are down. FirstMark delivers the services you want at a fair price that is simple to understand.
How we do it…
When you want information about a service, you speak directly with FirstMark’s founding principal, not a commissioned salesperson and not a junior consultant. After assessing your needs, FirstMark provides you with a plain-English written proposal detailing the costs, timeframes and deliverables for the project. Upon engagement, FirstMark will promptly provide a project checklist with items needed to get started. FirstMark offers competitive pricing by intelligently controlling costs and by employing RIA or BD consulting experts who thoroughly understand the subject matter of each project.
Simple, fair pricing.
Pay for services you want.
Reasonable, flexible annual service agreements.
Quality results – on time.
Direct, thoughtful answers – when you need them.
FirstMark offers Anti-Money Laundering (AML) independent testing that satisfies the requirements of FINRA Rule 3310(c) for an annual, calendar year test of the firm’s AML compliance program. FirstMark’s founder has extensive experience in AML compliance. FirstMark’s BD consulting services include reviews of the adequacy of a firm’s BSA, OFAC and AML compliance programs. More…
FINRA membership is a privilege shared by fewer than 4,000 brokerage firms in the United States and abroad. There are extensive requirements that must be met prior to gaining FINRA approval of your new member application (NMA). Secure BD consulting services that include a true FINRA NMA expert to increase the chances that your application will be approved sooner than the maximum 180 days afforded to FINRA by its rules. More…
A FINRA materiality consultation (MATCON) is a formal, written request in which a broker-dealer requests that FINRA opine on whether it views a proposed change in business operations as material under NASD Rule 1011(k). In other words, it is a request to FINRA that details a proposed change and requests guidance from FINRA about whether a more formal filing is needed. This is typically filed in lieu of a formal CMA application and is generally much faster than a CMA. FINRA does not charge for a MATCON and usually issues a decision within 30 days, although there are no formal time-frames. FirstMark has extensive experience with MATCONs and understands what FINRA expects to see in making its determination. Consider FirstMark’s BD consulting services for the preparation and filing of your firm’s MATCON. More…
A continuation of membership application, or FINRA CMA, is a formal application for approval of a material change in business. This may include the addition of a business line, change in business operations, change in ownership, bulk transfer of accounts of another firm using the negative consent process, or other changes. FINRA charges a fee for CMA filings, but grants waivers in some instances. FirstMark has extensive BD consulting experience in all types of CMA filings. Using an experienced BD consultant when filing your CMA is critical. With CMA filings, quality is key to gaining approval as quickly as possible. FINRA carefully scrutinizes business changes and FirstMark ensures that your application for FINRA approval of these changes is carefully prepared. More…
Whether you are interested in an investment adviser registered with the SEC or with an individual state, FirstMark offers competitive pricing on complete RIA applications. FirstMark works with you to develop a custom plan for your RIA. We don’t use “cookie cutter” approaches since your goals for your project are unique. FirstMark works with RIA compliance experts who have decades of experience in complex RIA issues. A typical application includes the filing of Form ADV, development of a Code of Ethics and Compliance and Supervisory Procedures, and regulatory responses. More…
FINRA Rule 3120 requires that its members test and verify that their supervisory procedures are adequate to achieve compliance with rules that apply to that broker-dealer based on its business operations. It also requires an annual report detailing the firm’s system of supervisory controls and summarizing the test results. Additionally, FINRA Rule 3130 requires that the CEO of a broker-dealer certify annually as to processes to establish, maintain, review, test and modify compliance and supervisory procedures. FirstMark has extensive experience in supervisory controls assessment and provides this service to clients. More…
Regulatory enforcement investigations and proceedings are mentally and physically exhausting for those involved. Using expert BD consulting services is critical to effectively navigating such a matter. Often these proceedings involve FINRA OTR letters (on-the-record interviews). FirstMark helps BD consulting clients with many aspects of Enforcement investigations, from supporting you and your counsel in preparing for OTRs, consulting on the compliance aspects of the underlying matters, to helping a client to complete undertakings that may have been required as a result of an enforcement action. However, FirstMark cannot substitute for your counsel, as it is not a law firm and does not provide legal services. More…
A regulatory examination, at a minimum, can be stressful. Preparing responses and organizing information can consume a significant amount of time. And regulators often give very short turnaround times on requests. Rarely is a compliance officer’s calendar sufficiently empty to handle another full-time job. FirstMark can help reduce the stress by managing and/or drafting your regulatory responses. FirstMark’s expert BD consulting services can help you understand the direction the regulators are going and your best course of action. FirstMark also provides assistance with corrective action that may be required as a result of an examination, including training, follow-up reviews, and more. More…
When it comes to training and development, one of the biggest challenges is having the time to develop and deliver a training session. Next is the issue of finding the person or persons who are qualified to deliver it, and of course, having those persons take time from their regular jobs to do so. FirstMark can help develop and deliver training based on client specifications. This is the way clients deliver high-quality training without a negative resource impact on mission critical staff. More…
Trust your important projects to an expert.
- New FINRA Report: Diversity of Cloud Computing Models Among Broker-Dealers Raises Opportunities and Challenges for the Securities Industry
- FINRA Announces Retirement of Executive Vice President of Member Supervision Bari Havlik; Greg Ruppert Appointed as Successor
- FINRA Announces Governor Elections and Appointments
- New Research Examines Why Some Consumers are More Vulnerable to Financial Scams
- SEC, MSRB, FINRA to Hold Compliance Outreach Program for Municipal Advisors
- FINRA Names Sarah Gill as Ombudsman, Cindy Foster as VP of MAP Program
- FINRA, NASAA and SEC OIEA Urge Investors to Establish a Trusted Contact to Increase Investor Protection
- Credit Suisse to Pay Nearly $475 Million to U.S. and U.K. Authorities to Resolve Charges in Connection with Mozambican Bond Offerings
- SEC Staff Releases Report on Equity and Options Market Structure Conditions in Early 2021
- SEC Awards $40 Million to Two Whistleblowers
- SEC Reopens Comment Period for Listing Standards for Recovery of Erroneously Awarded Compensation
- SEC Modernizes Filing Fee Disclosure and Payment Methods
- SEC Charges Hemp Company and Co-Founders With Fraud
- SEC Highlights Investor Protection for World Investor Week 2021
- Join Mitch Atkins at the FINRA Arbitration and Enforcement Regional CLE Program
- Mitch Atkins to Speak at 2019 FMA Securities Compliance Seminar
- Atkins Discusses FinCEN CDD Rule on FINRA AML Panel
- AML Surveillance – Major FINRA AML Case
- Mitch Atkins Presenting at FINRA South Region Conference
- Epic BD AML Compliance Failure Yields Another Record Fine