If you are considering taking the FINRA Series 79 exam, it’s time to find a sponsor. This is a process fraught with uncertainties, as there are several challenges to be met along the way. However, despite challenges, there are also opportunities and this is where you may find the most interest in the process. In addition to gaining the valuable knowledge and depth of experience to be found in a compliance team of the sponsorship who will guide you through the process, you will also discover advantages in the learning environment of the sponsoring firm. You may find that you’ll have opportunities to build financial expertise through the relationships and associations built during the sponsorship, leading to advantages for your own business.
Take a walk through the challenges, advantages, and opportunities of entering into a series 79 sponsorship in the following paragraphs.
First, the challenges. Yes, there are several, as the process of obtaining a sponsorship and applying to take the exam may take several months to a year. Often, there is a prior relationship between the exam applicant and the sponsoring firm, which becomes advantageous for both. However, there are applicants seeking sponsors across the nation at any given time who do not have such connections, so the bar is set high and the competition is fierce. While seeking a sponsorship, you may want to contact every person with whom you’ve worked or collaborated with to seek names of potential sponsors. Also, check with larger firms that have extensive capabilities of providing compliance teams, as well as schedules that can be adapted to teaching sectors for your exam sessions.
When the challenge of obtaining a sponsor has been met and overcome, the first task for your sponsor will be found in completing the application process; which, by the way, is not to be completed by you as the applicant; it is completed by your sponsor. Within the application questions, there are a multitude of personal and background questions, assessments, employment history, references and additional pages of application material to be completed. After completion, the package and the exam fee is sent to FINRA for approval.
After that potential obstacle has been met, you will begin to work with a compliance team, or a compliance individual, within the sponsorship firm. This is when the advantages of this process are initially realized. First, your financial expertise will be extensively rewritten by observation of the experienced compliance team, and second, your business capabilities will expand as a result.
The FINRA Series 79 exam was revised due to redundancy with other exams in 2018, with considerably fewer questions than in prior years; however, the subjects of securities registration, underwriting, SEC filings, financial statements and valuation are each included. Also, questions relating to mergers and acquisitions, tenders and bankruptcy are extensively reviewed. As these subjects are studied and dissected, you’ll also have opportunities to engage with clients who are involved in some of the above processes while you carry an applicant status. This is, by direct involvement, an open invitation to observe and engage with clients, as approved by the compliance team or individual. Such encounters are invaluable in building your financial expertise in a number of specialized areas, which bolsters your understanding of the FINRA Series 79 exam answers, as well as other facets of the financial industry. As the process of sponsoring continues, you’ll find that every area under discussion becomes one to consider again and with detailed research backing up decisions and collaborative discussions.
As part of the exam applicant process, you’ll have access to the forms, resources and records of the sponsoring firm, which offers another source of financial expertise as documents and files are examined in relation to the client transactions or offerings that are under discussion. The library of any large firm is a treasury of information, from which you’ll pull as you build your library in your own firm. The depth of financial expertise to be found through research is exponential; therefore, the advantages of a sponsorship for the Series 7 exam is again validated.
The challenges, opportunities and advantages to be found in a Series 7 exam sponsorship are probably too extensive to be counted or calculated. The time spent with a compliance team, gaining experience and wisdom through research, and meeting with clients to assist in tackling new opportunities for their concerns, is phenomenal in every way. Despite the heavy regulations of FINRA and the accompanying time and effort spent, there are numerous advantages to building your financial expertise through a Series 79 sponsorship.