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FINRA’s New Exam Structure Approved

SEC OKs new FINRA general knowledge exam, Putnam's FundVisualizer wins best mobile app award, and HighTower adds a team in Miami.

A new Financial Industry Regulatory Authority rule creating a general knowledge exam similar to the Series 7 has been approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission and takes effect Oct. 1, 2018. Under the rule, potential registrants would take the Securities Industry Essentials exam, without the need for a firm agreeing to sponsor them. The new exam would be valid for up to four years, giving the individuals time to find a job. Once they join a firm, they'd be required to take a more specialized exam correlated to their particular role, such as Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative, General Securities Representative, Equity Trader or Investment Banking Representative. In the event of a job change, they would not have to retake the general exam, just the specialized test associated with that position. Those exams would still expire after two years. "The new structure brings greater consistency and uniformity to the process for entering and returning to the brokerage industry,” said Robert Cook, FINRA president and CEO. Many believe the new structure could be a boon for recruiting young people into the profession.

FundVisualizer Wins Best Mutual Fund App

Putnam Investments' FundVisualizer mobile app won the award for best mobile application at the Mutual Fund Service and Technology Awards this week. The app, available for free, enables advisors, brokers and others to evaluate and compare more than 30,000 mutual funds, ETFs and indexes using more than 80 performance and risk metrics. Users are then able to create and model portfolios using Putnam or non-Putnam product solutions, compare correlations, identify new investment opportunities and generate customized reports. This is just the latest award for the app, which also received a 2017 Appy Award in the business category.

New Executive Team Joins HighTower in Miami

A team of advisors in Miami is joining HighTower, the company said in a statement Thursday. The new True Wealth Advisory Group was previously with J.P. Morgan Private Bank and managed approximately $500 million in client assets. Founder and CEO Marc Shachtman was an executive director and senior banker at J.P. Morgan before joining HighTower. He was also a member of an advisory council to address the private bank's challenges and priorities nationally. Before his stint with J.P. Morgan, Shachtman was a vice president in the Investment Management Division at Goldman, Sachs in Miami, where he advised ultra-high-net-worth clients and led a training program for summer associates.

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