1. What is Licensed Adviser?
Licensed Adviser is an investor awareness portal launched by iFAST Financial India Pvt Ltd.
2. What does Licensed Adviser mean?
Licensed Adviser, in India, refers to financial advisers who have registered with SEBI as Registered Investment Advisers (RIAs), and have adopted a fee-only or fee-based model of practice.
3. What does the portal do?
The portal aims to use articles, videos and expert interviews, to guide investors towards a holistic approach for their financial well-being. Importantly, the portal informs investors about the benefits of working only with licensed advisers or RIAs to meet their financial goals.
It also offers investors a directory of RIAs from all over India. Investors can use its multiple search filters, like city, service focus, qualification or years of experience, to look for RIAs who match their needs. Investors can see detailed profiles of all RIAs, view their contact details and even submit a form asking the RIAs to contact them.
4. Who can empanel with Licensed Adviser?
Any RIA, with a valid SEBI registration code, can empanel with Licensed Adviser.
5. What does an RIA need to do to empanel with Licensed Adviser?
RIAs can start the empanelment process by filling in the online empanelment form. The Licensed Adviser team will then contact the RIA to complete the empanelment procedure and create the RIA profile.
6. Is there any empanelment or membership fee for Licensed Adviser? Or will the users be charged anything for their search?
Licensed Adviser does not charge either RIAs or investors any fee for visiting, listing on, or using the site.
7. Do I need to be an iFAST Financial customer to empanel on the portal?
No. The Licensed Adviser portal is an independent initiative, with a focus on enabling the RIA community and Indian investors in a mutually beneficial manner. All Indian RIAs, irrespective of their relationship with iFAST Financial, are welcome to empanel on the Licensed Adviser portal.
8. Does the portal gather investor information for sharing with the RIAs?
Instead, the Licensed Adviser portal is designed to help RIAs build their visibility organically, by showcasing their expertise through articles and videos.
9. What kind of assessment or validation does Licensed Adviser do before empanelling an adviser?
The SEBI process for granting an RIA license to practice in India is a thorough and exhaustive process. SEBI’s validation includes: capital and infrastructure adequacy, confirmation of minimum educational qualifications, past disciplinary record, if any, amongst others. RIAs are also subject to SEBI audits every year to confirm that they are practicing advisory and delivering services within the regulations prescribed for them.
The Licensed Adviser team rides on SEBI’s validation and only verifies every adviser’s SEBI registration credentials to confirm that they are current and valid.
All RIAs empanelling with Licensed Adviser are also bound by a self-declaration regarding all other profile information shared by them. Finally, we would always encourage investors to perform their own due diligence before contracting an adviser.
10. How can investors contact an RIA after viewing their profile?
RIA profiles will display all given contact details – phone numbers, email address, office address, as well as website and blog URLs. Investors may choose to contact RIAs independently after reviewing their profiles on the portal.
However, the portal will also offer a Contact This Adviser form on each profile. If the investor would like the RIA to contact them, they can fill in this form. A notification with the investor’s message and contact details will be emailed to the relevant RIA, and they can contact the investor directly.
11. Does the Licensed Adviser earn commissions on business generated for RIAs through this portal?
No, the Licensed Adviser does not have any commercial arrangement whatsoever with RIAs whose profiles are listed on the portal.