The recent unexpected economic downturn due to the pandemic has left businesses fighting to survive. More than 64% of small businesses are struggling financially. The demand for financial advisory services has never been higher as executives search for ways to carry out finance restructuring, capital acquisitions, asset sales, and mergers.

Therefore, the financial investment advisory space is rapidly expanding. You may have decided that it’s time to move from an investment banking job to set up an independent practice. However, to operate as a certified broker dealer, you may have to pass FINRA licensing examinations. All top-off FINRA exams require a broker dealer sponsorship before a candidate can sit for the tests.

Series 7, series 79, and series 82 FINRA examinations require a broker dealer sponsorship. It means that your application to sit for the tests must be made by an existing FINRA member with good standing. The sponsor fills your FINRA form U4 before submitting it to the Central Registration Depository and paying for your exam fee. The submission opens up a 120-day window that you can sit for your respective FINRA series examination.

Securing Your Broker Dealer Sponsorship

The certified broker dealers that wish to sponsor a candidate have the responsibility to conduct background checks on the applicant. The firm must ensure that you are an ideal match for the broker dealer sponsorship. Here are five tips to help you secure your FINRA exam sponsorship.

1. Conduct Your Due Diligence

The first step to finding the right certified broker dealer to become your FINRA sponsor is to research the active members that provide the chaperoning services. You may need to research the company’s culture and values. Aligning with the right partner can help increase your odds at a successful application for a broker dealer sponsorship.

2. Network Widely

Networking is an essential skill that every investment banker needs to have. Before learning how to sell equities or organize mergers and acquisitions, you may need to learn how to package yourself and your business. Networking within the industry can help you identify reputable broker dealers that can sponsor you for the FINRA examinations.

3. Be Open to the Process

Your application may have to go through a series of steps and scrutiny before being accepted. You may need to be open to the aspect of you and your budding independent boutique undergoing a thorough check. It may not look well on you to have the broker dealer waiting for days or, at times, weeks for requested documentation or updated information. Be sure to respond to any queries promptly.

4. Review Documents for Accuracy

The sponsor may have to fill in your personal details and other fields in your FINRA form U4. You may need to check your documents for any clerical errors before submission. Simple statistical, grammatical, or cosmetic errors may reflect wrong on your firm, giving an impression of carelessness.

Finding the right broker dealer sponsorship can be an uphill task. The tips above can increase your odds of your application becoming accepted. If you wish to have a series 79 sponsorship or series 82 sponsorship, reach out to Bridge Capital Associates.