This section is specifically designed to help licensed Representatives understand what is involved in changing Broker/Dealers. If you are reading this section, you are most likely somewhere along the journey of making a change. You may be taking the first steps and just exploring your alternatives or you may have made your decision and will be joining Dominion in the near future. Either way we believe you will find this information both useful and interesting.
This is a general set of instructions intended to give you a detailed idea of what will be required. We understand that most Representatives change Broker/Dealers very few times during their career. Our objective is to make your transition to Dominion as simple as possible, with as little interruption in service to your clients.
Changing Broker/Dealers is not as painful as you may have been given the impression. With a little guidance, a lot of paper work, and support from Dominion, the process can usually be completed in a few weeks. The process can be divided into a few steps:
- Transferring your registration
- Moving accounts held at your current clearing firm
- Moving accounts held at Mutal Funds or Insurance Companies
- Getting you appointed with insurance companies (if applicable)
- Setting up account access through Dominion's Web-Based product (if applicable)
Transferring your registration
To transfer your registration, we will need you to provide the following:
- A completed and signed U-4
- A copy of your letter of resignation from previous Broker/Dealer (if you have recently terminated
- A signed U-4 Disclosure Statement
- A signed Pre - Hire Authorization
- Three completed fingerprint cards
- Two signed Associated Salesperson Agreements
- We must have a copy of your U-5 when received from your former employer for your file with us
- A Representative information sheet
- A completed and signed W-9
- A signed Dominion Engagement Agreement (if required)
- A check for registration fees
When you are ready and once we have all of the required paperwork, Dominion will process the request for transfer within two days. If your record is clean, FINRA usually gives us confirmation of your completed transfer within 24 to 48 hours. Individual States can take a few days longer but the entire process is normally completed within a week.
Items of Special Interest before we get into the Details
- Support for Preparation of your Paperwork - If you need assistance preparing your paperwork for transferring your accounts to Dominion, we will be happy to help you. If you will send us the latest copies of your clients' statements, our staff will prepare as much of the paperwork as possible. We will fill out as much information as we can for you and attach all the required forms you will need to transfer the account. There will still be sections you will need to complete, and your clients will need to sign the forms so you will still have plenty of work to do.
- Items that will not transfer - Accounts sometimes hold securities that may not transfer outside the existing firm. Items that will not transfer are usually proprietary products. Before you begin transferring your accounts, we would like to review your current holdings with you so that you will know if there are any items that may create problems. We do not want you or your clients to have any surprises. This is not a common problem but common enough that we feel should be reviewed before you begin transferring your accounts to Dominion. Our objective is to inflict as little unnecessary pain on you or your clients as possible.
Moving Accounts held at your current Clearing Firm
We need the following documents for each account:
- The correct completed Dominion application for each account. (Collects the necessary information to meet the requirements of FINRA "know your customer rules".)
- An ACAT form signed by the account holder(s). (Provides permission by the account holders to move the account.)
- A copy of the most current account statement. (Provides the information necessary to complete the ACAT form and lets us know what should be transferring so we can follow up and make sure all items are received.)
- Accounts with Margin positions must have the agreement submitted when the Block Transfer processing commences.
- Accounts with Option positions must have the agreement submitted when the Block Transfer processing commences.
- Fee-based accounts require additional paperwork and a detailed discussion to determine what services the Representative will need.
- Customer Identification Requirements must be met.
Certain Account Registrations will need additional documents:
- Trust Accounts will require a Trustee Certification of Investment Powers form.
- Estate Accounts will require a Letter of Testamentary. (Please note that state laws could require additional paperwork, it varies from state to state.)
- Corporate Accounts will require a Corporate Resolution form.
- Partnership Accounts will require a Partnership Agreement form.
Once the completed paperwork has been reviewed, and forwarded to First Southwest Company, it will take five to seven working days for the transfer to be complete.
Moving Accounts held at Mutual Fund or Insurance Companies
- A standard Dominion brokerage account application for each account.
- A change of Dealer form signed by all shareholder(s) or contract holder(s).
- A copy of the most current account statement.
- Some Insurance Companies will require proof of E&O coverage before they will process the paperwork.
- Some Insurance companies require additional forms from your previous Broker/Dealer.
We will usually be able to review and process all paperwork received within two days. The completed paperwork will be forwarded to the Mutual Fund or Insurance Companies. We have no control over their processing time but you can expect the more efficient companies to take a minimum of two weeks to mail a confirmation of the changes. Less efficient companies may take much longer. If the paperwork is not complete, we will contact you and inform you of the items we will need before we can forward the request.
Getting you appointed with Insurance Companies
Before any insurance business can be transferred, you must be appointed with Dominion as your Broker/Dealer. (This means that you will need to complete another appointment application showing DOMINION as your Broker/Dealer.)
- A copy of your insurance license for every state you have or wish to do business.
- A list of the insurance companies with which you are currently doing or wish to do business.
- Some companies will require proof of E&O coverage.
Copies of your statements:
We require your customer statements so that we may review all accounts and prepare the proper documentation required for the change of Dealer. The statements will also help us identify any items, which may require special handling or may not be transferred. That way, you can discuss these issues with your clients before they become problems.
Account access through Dominion's Web-Based products
First, you will need to determine which of our web-based product you will need. A quick visit to the Web Based products section for a general overview is the best place to start. Then, give us a call so we can discuss some of the specifics to determine which products you will want. Once you have made your decision, we will need to complete a few forms depending on which products you want. Each will take a few days to process, and then you are on your way.
This is all there is to making a change. In most cases, moving from one Broker/Dealer to another is not a difficult process. Citing positive reasons for your change - i.e. better support, better technology, and better serve your clients' needs, etc. - will smooth the transition with your clients. Problems will usually arise with a very few accounts but there are usually some. Attention to detail, a little client preparation, and discussions with us before we begin will usually keep problems to a minimum.
The bottom line is many Broker/Dealers want you to think moving is harder than it really is so you will endure rather than leave. Do not be afraid to move - if you evaluate your options and choose a Broker/Dealer that can support your business, you will be happier in the long run. We want to wish you the best, what ever your final decision may be.