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Of BrokerCheck and Knowledge Mosaic

March 27, 2012

On February 22nd, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority proposed the expansion of its BrokerCheck program.

Last year the SEC, as required by the Dodd-Frank Act, released a study and recommendations on improving investor access to investment adviser and broker-dealer registration information. The SEC’s study recommended that search returns for the Commission’s Investment Adviser Public Disclosure (“IAPD”) database and FINRA’s BrokerCheck database be unified; that BrokerCheck be searchable by location (for example, by zip code); and that educational information be added to BrokerCheck. The SEC staff also recommended that FINRA consider expanding BrokerCheck to include additional information, such as the reasons for a broker’s termination and a broker’s test scores.

In soliciting comments on the possible expansion of BrokerCheck, FINRA further asked:

“Should FINRA provide BrokerCheck information to for-profit companies for commercial use? What are some of the benefits/concerns of such action? If FINRA were to provide BrokerCheck information to such companies, what conditions or limitations on use should FINRA consider imposing?”

It should come as no surprise that we at Knowledge Mosaic found this last question the most interesting.   We ourselves are currently in a state of transition with these materials: our Investment Adviser search page has been down for some time in the wake of significant changes to the form that the SEC introduced late last year.  (We hope to have a new, albeit scaled down, version of the page up some time in April.)  But the possibility of BrokerCheck information being available offers others other opportunities.

So here’s your chance to comment to us. If FINRA made BrokerCheck information available to us:

  • Would you want Knowledge Mosaic to make it available to you?
  • What sort of information would you find most useful?
  • Would you like the information to be integrated with the SEC’s IAPD database?

Comments to FINRA should be submitted on or before April 6, 2012.   Comments to Knowledge Mosaic are always welcome and can be sent to: feedback@knowledgemosaic.com.

We hope to hear from you.

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