FINRA recently posted the outline for the new Series 99 Operations Professionals Exam. The Madoff-inspired test is meant to ensure that Continue reading
FINRA recently posted the outline for the new Series 99 Operations Professionals Exam. The Madoff-inspired test is meant to ensure that operations professionals understand the fundamentals of the operations and regulations of a broker-dealer’s business. Click here to see the official outline.
What will be tested on the exam?
This exam will be three hours and consist of 110 questions (10 unscored) focusing on the following three topics:
Basic knowledge associated with the securities industry – basic questions about SROs, types of markets, types and characteristics of securities, broker-dealers versus investment advisers, suitability, and types of broker-dealers
Basic knowledge associated with broker-dealer operations – basic questions about types of accounts, maintenance of accounts, custody, anti-money laundering, margin, short sales, settlement, tax-reporting, and record-keeping
Professional conduct and ethical considerations – questions on FINRA conduct rules involving privacy, complaints, information barriers, written supervisory procedures, and registration
The test will be more heavily weighted toward the second category with 48 questions on broker-dealer operations. Securities industry knowledge is the second most important topic with 32 questions and the remaining 20 questions will be comprised of conduct and ethics. FINRA has yet to release the score that will be required to pass.
How difficult is the exam?
The exam outline contains 30 practice questions that represent the level of difficulty of the exam questions. Based on these sample questions the exam appears to be comparable to the Series 6 exam.
Who will have to take the exam?
Day One Professionals – Individuals who currently work as operations supervisors or operations managers or individuals who currently have the authority to materially commit capital in various back office functions. These individuals must be identified by December 16, 2011 and must register within 60 days of being identified. Those registered individuals will then have until October 17, 2012 to pass the Series 99 or a comparable exam such as the Series 6 or Series 7.
Non-Day One Professionals – Individuals who are not currently working in back-office activities, but plan to in the future. These individuals must pass the Series 99 or a comparable exam before engaging in back-office activities. They are not subject to the 12-month transition period.
Individuals who hold the following Series Exams will be exempt from taking the Operations Professionals Exam: Series 4, 6, 7, 9/10, 14, 16, 17, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 37, 38, 51, and 52.