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If a firm distributes an institutional communication to intermediaries that fall within the definition of "institutional investor" and labels the communication for use only with institutional investors, and an intermediary subsequently distributes the communication to retail investors, is the member then required to treat the communication as a retail communication?
Unless the firm becomes aware that the intermediary has distributed the communication to retail investors, or the firm has not adequately labeled the communication, the firm will not be required to treat the communication as retail.
FINRA Rule a 3 defines "institutional communication" as "any written including electronic communication that is distributed or made available only to institutional investors, but does not include a member's internal communications.
The "reason to believe" standard is not intended to require a mutual fund underwriter to audit recipient broker-dealers' use of institutional communications. Assuming a firm adequately labels an institutional communication as being for institutional use only, the firm would not have reason to believe, absent other facts, that the communication will be distributed to retail investors.
However, if the recipient broker-dealer informs the fund underwriter that it intends to distribute the communication to its retail customers, or the fund underwriter otherwise becomes aware of this practice, the fund underwriter must either treat the communication as a retail communication going forward, or cease distributing institutional communications to the recipient broker-dealer until it reasonably concludes that the broker-dealer has adopted appropriate procedures to prevent redistribution.
FINRA Rule a 3 defines "institutional communication" to exclude a firm's internal communications. Does "internal communication" include training and educational material prepared for use with registered representatives of affiliated broker-dealers?
If a firm uses material to train or educate registered representatives of other broker-dealers whether affiliated or unaffiliatedthe material would be considered an institutional communication. Third Party Research Reports B. If a firm distributes only to institutional investors a third-party research report that does not qualify as an independent third-party research report pursuant to FINRA Rule a 3is the firm required to have a registered principal or supervisory analyst approve the report prior to distribution?
FINRA Rule b 3 permits a firm to distribute an institutional communication without having a registered principal approve the communication prior to distribution, provided that the firm establishes and implements certain written procedures for the supervision and review of such communications.
FINRA Rule h 1 requires a registered principal or supervisory analyst to review for compliance Answer the questions the applicable provisions of Rule h and approve third-party research reports distributed by the firm unless the report meets the definition of "independent third-party research report.
Accordingly, a firm may supervise such a report in the same manner as any other institutional communication pursuant to FINRA Rule b 3. Business Development Companies B. Accordingly, the Series 26 registration does not qualify a principal to approve a retail communication concerning a BDC.
Questions concerning principal approval of non-promotional communications see Section C. Filing Requirements and Filing Exclusions C. FINRA Rule c 3 E requires a firm to file within 10 business days of first use or publication retail communications concerning any security that is registered under the Securities Act of and that is derived from or based on a single security, a basket of securities, an index, a commodity, a debt issuance or a foreign currency registered structured products.
What types of products does this filing requirement cover? While it is not possible to list all registered structured products, examples include exchange-traded notes that are not registered under the Investment Company Act but are registered under the Securities Act, registered reverse convertibles, registered structured notes, registered principal protection notes, and any other registered security that includes embedded derivative-like features.
See Regulatory Notice for some examples of registered structured products. The purpose of this filing requirement is to have firms file with FINRA retail communications about structured products that are registered under the Securities Act.
It is not intended to create a duplicative requirement for retail communications that are already subject to filing, such as retail communications concerning mutual funds, closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds that are registered under the Investment Company Act, variable insurance products, direct participation programs or collateralized mortgage obligations.
While this filing requirement applies to retail communications concerning registered structured products, it does not apply to issuer-prepared prospectuses, including issuer-prepared free-writing prospectuses that are filed with the SEC.
If a firm has previously filed a retail communication and then decides to use the same communication in a different format, must the firm refile the communication as it appears in the new format?
FINRA would not consider revising a retail communication to appear in a different format to be a material change, provided that the content has not materially changed.
For example, if a firm has previously filed a retail communication in the format that it appears on a desktop or laptop computer, and the firm is redesigning the presentation to appear on a tablet or smart phone, the firm would not have to refile the version that will appear on a tablet or smart phone.
What if a firm uses responsive Web design technology5 to deliver a retail communication in different formats depending on the device used by a customer?
Must the firm file each version of the retail communication to show how it will appear on each device?
For the same reasons set forth in the answer to the previous question, FINRA would not consider delivery of the same content in a retail communication in different formats using responsive design technology to be a material change to the communication.
Accordingly, a firm would only have to file the retail communication once. No, provided that the content of the website version of the retail communication appears without material change from the previously filed print version.
If a firm changes the color scheme of a previously filed retail communication, must the firm refile the new version of the retail communication? FINRA would not regard merely changing the color scheme of a previously filed retail communication to be a material change to the communication.
Is a firm required to re-file retail communications concerning a mutual fund that changes its name, if the only changes to the previously filed communications are substitutions of the fund's new name for its old name?
Assuming the fund has changed its name in any required filings with the SEC, FINRA would not consider merely changing the fund's name from previously filed retail communications concerning the fund to be a material change to the communications.
If a mutual fund passes its five-year or ten-year anniversary since inception, and a firm adds a new line to previously filed retail communications that present fund performance to show the fund's five-year or ten-year performance record as required by SEC Rulemust the firm re-file the revised retail communications?
FINRA would not consider merely adding a fund's five-year or ten-year performance record as required by Rule to previously filed retail communications to be a material change.
Filing Exclusion for Templates C. A firm acts as a principal underwriter of a mutual fund family, and each fund in the family offers multiple classes of shares. If the firm creates a separate fact sheet for each share class of every fund in the family, is the firm required to file every fact sheet with FINRA if the only differences between the fact sheets for each share class of a particular fund are a share class's sales load, fees and performance?
FINRA Rule c 7 B i excludes from filing retail communications that are based on templates that were previously filed with FINRA the changes to which are limited to updates of more recent statistical or other non-narrative information.Oct 22, · Product troubleshooting support, DIY advice, and help from experts & local pros.
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