Q.21: I am an Individual RIA with my spouse in Distribution Business as a Pvt Ltd Company. I also have a 3% stake in the firm in addition to a third non related Owner. This is a disclosure in my initial application to SEBI.

There are couple of my clients who were using distribution services earlier (from the Pvt Ltd Company) and have not exited some investments (in Regular Mode) for various reasons like tax etc. No fees is being charged to them on Regular Mode assets. It’s also been mentioned in the Client Agreement.

All new investments/switches have been made in Direct Mode only, which will be continued in the future too. Clients are now being advised only by me (Individual RIA) now.

  • What are the possible areas of conflict?
  • Is it advisable to change to a Corporate RIA with SIDD?

If we wish to convert to a Corporate RIA, do we get a waiver for MBA in Finance for three years (I have completed a one year Executive Program from Indian Institute of Management  and also a Diploma in Finance – but not a two year program) to complete the same? I have started a two year MBA Finance program already. We meet all other requirements for the Corporate RIA license.

Response to Sub-Query-1:

In our opinion, as per the interpretation of law, especially Regulation 22 of IA Regulations, there is no conflict in your case.


  1. As an Individual RIA you are not providing distribution services.
  2. Also, your family (adviser, spouse, children and parents) is not directly providing distribution services. 

Note: It is the Pvt. Ltd. company which is providing distribution services, not the family member as defined in Regulation 2(1)(gc) of IA Regulations.


Response to Sub-Query-2:

In our opinion, it is not advisable to convert into corporate RIA, as there is no problem in current arrangement.

Response to Sub-Query-3:

As a qualification requirement for Principal Officer of Non-Individual RIA — a professional qualification or post-graduate degree or post graduate diploma (minimum two years in duration) in finance – will suffice.

Additionally such Principal officer have to satisfy the following experience and certifications:

  • An experience of at least five years in activities relating to advice in financial products or securities or fund or asset or portfolio management.
  • A certification on financial planning or fund or asset or portfolio management or investment advisory services from National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) or from any other organization or institution including Financial Planning Standards Board of India (FPSB) or any recognized stock exchange in India provided such certification is accredited by NISM.



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