What Does Investment Adviser Registration Depository Mean?

The Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD) is an electronic system through which investment advisors register themselves and file required reports and disclosures with the U.S. federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and with state-level regulators.

Understanding Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD)

The IARD keeps information on more than 260,000 investment advisors. The depository’s purpose is to improve the monitoring and regulation of investment advisors and to make professional information about them available to the public.

The SEC and the North American Securities Administrators Association sponsor the IARD, while the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) develops, operates, and maintains the system. The SEC regulates advisors whose assets under management exceed $1 million, while state regulators typically oversee advisors managing fewer assets.

Investment advisors use the IARD to file their Uniform Application for Investment Adviser Registration form, known as Form ADV, which officially registers them as investment advisors. They also use it for annual registration and renewal and for fee and form processing. Investment advisor representatives also register through the IARD.

An investment advisor who wishes to withdraw from some or all of the jurisdictions in which they are registered must use the IARD to file Form ADV-W. The IARD is similar to the Central Registration Depository system that broker-dealers and agents must register through before they can conduct business in their profession.

How the Public Can Use the IARD

Form ADV contains key information that can be helpful to members of the public who may have questions about an investment advisor they are considering doing business with. The Form ADV filings that investment advisers make through the IARD are available to the public through the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website. There, members of the public can verify that an investment advisor they are working with is actually registered and credible. This verification is an important step for anyone working with an investment adviser.

The information maintained by the IARD can also help people decide if the investment advisor they are working with has credentials and experience that meet their standards and expectations. The information available to the public includes the advisor’s professional background, such as employment history, professional designations, industry exams passed, and other business activities. Information such as how long they have been registered with their current firm and which firms they have been registered with previously is also available. The public can also see whether the advisor has ever been disciplined or suspended, or if the advisor’s key personnel have ever faced discipline.