Participants in the investment management industry, depending upon their type of business, size, location and other factors, may be subject to oversight by multiple regulators, including the following:
The SEC is the federal agency responsible for overseeing the securities industry, including the registration and regulation of investment companies, investment advisers and broker-dealers. Securities offerings are registered with the SEC unless an exemption from registration is available.
The CFTC is an independent agency responsible for regulating commodity futures and options markets in the United States. Investment managers of funds that invest in commodity futures and options must generally register with the CFTC as commodity pool operators (“CPOs”) and/or commodity trading advisors (“CTAs”) unless an exemption from registration is available.
National Futures Association (“NFA”)
The NFA is the self-regulatory organization for the U.S. futures industry. CPOs and CTA who are registered with the CFTC must also be members of the NFA.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”)
FINRA oversees the regulation of brokerage firms and their registered securities representatives. SEC-registered broker-dealers must also generally become members of FINRA and, in practice, the SEC permits FINRA to assume primary responsibility for reviewing broker-dealer registration applications.
States Securities Regulators
To the extent no pre-empted by federal legislation, each of the 50 states and Washington D.C. regulates activities by investment funds, investment advisers and broker-dealers within their jurisdiction. Information on state securities regulators can be found at the North American Securities Administrators Association website.