FINRA Provides Guidance on Virtual Events

Posted on August 5th, 2020 at 9:21 AM
FINRA Provides Guidance on Virtual Events

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law LLC:

The COVID-19 pandemic has required a change in business operations throughout the financial industry. What used to be done in-person, now must be done remotely. To help guide advisors, The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) recently released an FAQ on virtual business entertainment events and meetings.

According to FINRA, it is acceptable for an associated person to provide reasonable amounts of food and beverage at a virtual business entertainment event or video meeting with the employees of an institutional customer or third-party broker dealer. The food and beverage must be designed to be consumed during the virtual event. The food and beverage will not be subject to the $100 gift limit “provided the cost of the food and beverage as well as the frequency with which it is provided do not raise questions of propriety.” Additionally, the provision of food and beverage must not be preconditioned on achieving a sales target.

FINRA further clarified that associated persons should not provide any other cash or non-cash compensation to the event attendees. When holding these meetings, member firms should supervise and maintain records, which include a description, the amount, and the value of the food and beverage.

The attorneys of Eccleston Law LLC represent investors and advisors nationwide in securities and employment matters. The securities lawyers at Eccleston Law also practice a variety of other areas of practice for financial investors and advisors including Securities FraudCompliance ProtectionBreach of Fiduciary DutyFINRA Matters, and much more. Our attorneys draw on a combined experience of nearly 65 years in delivering the highest quality legal services. If you are in need of legal services, contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation today.

Tags: COVID, COVID-19, Virtual Guidance, Entertainment, Dining Out, Food and Beverage

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Jim, Stephany and the whole team were a God send.  We felt like we were put into a situation where we had no advocate. Jim’s team came in with a strong, well laid out strategy on how to get our story heard. Where our outside compliance company had no ability to help, our Broker Dealer was impenitent, and the regulators were aggressive pursuing vague rules, Jim came like a barricade against an assault we did not understand. Though you pay member dues to be affiliated with FINRA and a B/D, you have no voice. The only thing that is truly heard in this un-level playing field is a bulldog’s bark like Jim’s. I would encourage anyone to call Jim and his team to find a real ally in the tough and complicated world of securities regulation. They are truly the best.

Greg P.


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