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Investment Adviser Guide


The forms and instructions may be accessed via the online   IA Packet.

Form ADV Parts 1, 2 and supplements must be filed electronically via the Investment Adviser Registration Depository ("IARD"). The SEC’s Regulation Best Interest Customer Relationship Summary, or Form CRS is not currently required to be filed by state-registered investment advisers in our state. However, if your state-registered firm prefers to file a Form CRS, it can be filed as an attachment to Form ADV Part 2 electronically through the Investment Adviser Registration Depository ("IARD"). Dually-registered firms can file a separate Form ADV Part 3 on IARD.

Applicants who do not have an IARD account must visit the IARD website at and download the Entitlement Packet. Click on the How To Access IARD link on the left side navigation bar. This will take you to the access information page. Following the second paragraph are two links for the Entitlement Packet; one for SEC Adviser Entitlement Packet and one for State Registrant Entitlement Packet. Clicking on the appropriate link will bring you to the form, which can be downloaded, completed and sent in to the IARD. When your account is set up, you will receive a user name and password to access the IARD system. You should only give permission to access IARD to those employees who will be responsible for entering application information and reconciling your IARD fee accounts.

When you have gained access to IARD, you should prepare to make your ADV filing. If you are a first time filer with no ADV information on IARD, click the FORMS tab and select the link for either Apply for Registration with the SEC for advisers who can federally register, or Apply for Registration With One or More States if you will be state regulated. This will take you to Form ADV Part 1 which you can complete online. See the IARD Manual for detailed instructions on completing and submitting the Part 1. In the jurisdiction boxes, be sure to check off all states in which you wish to register or notice file.

Part 2 must be in the prescribed format of topic sections and is uploaded as a PDF document. Be sure to complete both Part 2A, the Firm Brochure, and the Part 2B, the Brochure Supplement for each person providing investment advice.

The Consent to Service contained within the electronic Part 1 is sufficient; you do not need to send a separate Consent form.

For firms already established on IARD in some jurisdiction, you should go to the FORMS tab and select the Other Than Annual Amendment link. This will bring up your current version of Form ADV Part 1. Simply scroll to the section containing the state jurisdiction boxes and check the box for WI. Do your Completeness Check and after any errors are corrected, submit your amendment. This will update the filing and send your application to us for review.

Federal Covered Advisers

For federal covered advisers, your Notice Filing will be automatically approved and your status changed to Notice Filed Reviewed. Notice Filing fees will be deducted from your IARD account. Federal covered advisers do not need to send a paper copy of ADV Part 2, Form CRS or any other disclosure documentation to the Division. Firms will need to file branch office notices and applications for investment adviser Representatives (see Branch Office and Investment Adviser Representative section of this Guide).

State Registered Advisers

For state registered investment advisers, your electronically filed application will be directed to the Division where we will place the application into PENDING status. Your IARD account will be charged the appropriate fees for registration in Wisconsin. You will need to complete the additional forms contained in the IA Packet and send the following information directly to the Division:

  • A copy of your firm's Investment Advisory Contract(s)
  • Designation of Supervisor Form - Form IADS(WI)
  • Wisconsin Investment Advisory Activity of Applicant - Form IAAA(WI)
  • Financial Certification - Form IAFC(WI) (if applicable)
  • Website address
  • Federal Tax ID number

Complete all forms in the IA PACKET in their entirety. Facsimile signatures via fax or email are acceptable but we prefer you follow up with original signature documents if possible.

You must name at least one person who will act as the firm's designated supervisor. This person must meet the examination requirements. (§ DFI-Sec 5.01(5), Wis. Adm. Code). The person must have taken and passed either the post-January 1, 2000 version of the Series 65 examination, or the post-January 1, 2000 version of the Series 66 exam combined with the Series 7. (§ DFI-Sec 5.01(3) & (4), Wis. Adm. Code).

The fees for initial registration are:

  • $400 for the firm's application,
  • $80 for each branch office located in Wisconsin, and
  • $80 for each investment adviser representative application.

Once an application is received via IARD and put into PENDING status, it will be assigned to an examiner in the Professional Registration & Compliance Bureau. The examiner will notify you, usually within five business days, if there are any deficiencies and what those deficiencies are. You have 180 days from the date the firm’s application status was changed to PENDING on IARD to complete the application or be subject to an Order of Denial of Registration.
Upon completion of the staff's review, the firm's status on IARD will be changed to APPROVED with the effective date of that approval. No paper registration certificates are issued in Wisconsin. This is the first date upon which you can begin providing advisory services to clients in Wisconsin.

Broker-dealer Investment Advisers

Beginning January 1, 2009, broker-dealers also conducting advisory business under the same legal entity must have a separate registration as an investment adviser. While the requirement to file Form ADV is the same as always, the initial investment adviser registration fee of $400 for a state adviser or the notice filing fee of $200 for a federal covered adviser will be deducted from your IARD Daily Account. Likewise, any agents of the broker-dealer who will be acting in the capacity of an investment adviser representative of the investment adviser or federal covered adviser must also make a separate filing for registration in that category and will be subject to the $80 investment adviser representative registration fee (See Investment Adviser Representative Section of this Guide).