An investment advisor (IA) can be either an individual or a company. If you are providing investment advisory services as an employee of an IA, you are actually an investment advisor representative (IAR).
To paraphrase the USA, an investment advisor representative is:
an individual employed by or associated with an investment advisor.
an individual employed by or associated with a federal covered investment advisor, who makes any recommendations or otherwise gives investment advice regarding securities; manages accounts or portfolios of clients; determines which recommendation or advice regarding securities should be given; and/or provides investment advice.
anyone who holds herself or himself out as providing investment advice and/or receives compensation for such.
anyone who supervises employees who perform any of the foregoing.
If a person meets the above criteria for IAR he or she must register with the state.
Investment Advisor Representatives: Exclusions
If you are having trouble with the concept of the investment advisor representative, remember this: an IAR\'s relationship to an IA is similar to that of an agent in relation to a broker-dealer. An IAR represents an investment advisor.