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State agency encourages investors to discuss
cybersecurity with their financial professionals

MADISON – With an ever-growing list of financial institutions targeted by organized cyberattacks, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) today issued an advisory reminding investors of the importance of protecting the personal information they share with their financial professionals.

"The increasing reliance on technology in our daily lives could leave our sensitive financial information more vulnerable to theft without proper safeguards in place, "said Patricia Struck, Administrator of DFI's Division of Securities. "Investors should be vigilant about asking questions about a financial firm's level of cybersecurity preparedness. They should ask about what specific steps the firm has taken to protect personal client information."

The full press release may be found at www.wdfi.org/Newsroom/Press.

New business entity filings
up 6.1% in 2014

MADISON – The number of new business entities formed in Wisconsin in 2014 grew by 6.1% compared to the prior year, according to data compiled by the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). New business filings for the year totaled 39,395, compared to 37,145 in 2013.

The business formation data is compiled by DFI, which is the filing office for the creation of business entities in the state. DFI tracks new business entity creation on a monthly basis and posts the data on its website.

The full report may be found at www.wdfi.org/corporations/HistoricalStatistics.htm.

DFI announces launch of streamlined
electronic filing depository for investors

MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) today announced the launch of the online Electronic Filing Depository (EFD) to enhance the efficiency of the regulatory filing process for certain exempt securities offerings.

"We are very pleased to provide the EFD system to create an efficient, streamlined system for state Form D filing requirements. Issuers will benefit from this uniform and effective regulatory tool, which also strengthens investor protection by improving the transparency of Form D filings," said Patricia Struck, Administrator of DFI’s Division of Securities.

The full press release may be found at www.wdfi.org/Newsroom/Press.

New business entity filings
tracking 5.1% ahead of prior year

MADISON – The number of new business entities formed in Wisconsin in the first 11 months of 2014 grew by 5.1% compared to the prior year, according to data compiled by the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). New business filings totaled 36,143, compared to 34,388 in the same period in 2013.

The business formation data is compiled by DFI, which is the filing office for the creation of business entities in the state. DFI tracks new business entity creation on a monthly basis and posts the data on its website.

The full report may be found at www.wdfi.org/corporations/HistoricalStatistics.htm.

Division of Securities staffers discuss
crowdfunding at Small Business Owner Symposium

FITCHBURG – Joe Friesen, Securities Examiner for DFI’s Division of Securities, was a presenter at the UW School of Business Small Business Owner Symposium on Dec. 4 at the BioPharmaceutical Technology Center in Fitchburg. Co-presenting with Friesen was Deborah Fabritz, Director of Professional Registration & Compliance with the Division of Securities. Friesen and Fabritz discussed the basics of crowdfunding, which is a way for businesses to raise capital by accepting investments of small-dollar amounts from a larger number of people, typically via the Internet. A state law that took effect June 1, 2014, allows a Wisconsin business to raise up to $1 million from state investors through crowdfunding portals, referred to in the legislation (2013 Wisconsin Act 52) as "internet site operators." To begin crowdfunding, issuers and Internet site operators are required to file with the Division of Securities.