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Series 79 – Investment Banking Representative Exam

The Series 79 exam — the Investment Banking Representative Exam — assesses the competency of an entry-level registered representative to perform their job as an investment banking representative.

The Series 79 exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to perform the critical functions of an investment banking representative, including advising on or facilitating debt or equity securities offerings through a private placement or a public offering and mergers and acquisitions.

Candidates must pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and the Series 79 exam to obtain the Investment Banking Representative registration. For more information about the SIE and Series 79 exams, refer to FINRA Rule 1210 and FINRA Rule 1220(b)(5).


Content Outline

The Series 79 Content Outline provides a comprehensive guide to the range of topics covered on the exam, as well as the depth of knowledge required. The outline is comprised of the three major job functions of an investment banking representative. The table below lists the allocation of exam items for each major job function.

Major Job Functions Number of Exam Items
(F1) Collection, Analysis, and Evaluation of Data 37
(F2) Underwriting/New Financing Transaction, Types of Offerings and Registration of Securities 20
(F3) Mergers and Acquisitions, Tender Offers and Financial Restructuring Transaction 18
TOTAL 75

Eligibility

Candidates must be associated with and sponsored by a FINRA member firm or other applicable self-regulatory organization (SRO) member firm to be eligible to take FINRA representative-level qualification exams. For more information on registration requirements, refer to FINRA Rule 1210.

The SIE exam is a corequisite to the Series 79 exam. Candidates must pass both the Series 79 exam and the SIE exam to obtain the Investment Banking registration.

For more information on the registration process, see Register a New Candidate.


Permitted Activities

Covered activities include advising on and/or facilitating the following:

  • Debt and equity offerings (private placement or public offering)
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Tender offers
  • Financial restructurings
  • Asset sales
  • Divestitures or other corporate reorganizations
  • Business combination transactions

Key Questions

1. I engage in investment banking work that is limited to structuring private securities offerings at my firm. What registration(s) will I need to engage in this activity?

You may register by passing the SIE and passing either the Series 79 exam or the Series 82 exam. To register, you will have to pass the SIE and either the Series 79 exam or the Series 82 exam.

2. I am registered as an Investment Banking Representative (Series 79) under FINRA Rule 1220(b)(5) Limited Representative-Investment Banking. The rule states that persons whose activities involve “advising on or facilitating debt or equity securities offerings though a private placement or a public offering, including … marketing ….” must register as an Investment Banking Representative. Does this mean that I can engage in road show activities and direct selling efforts related to a debt or equities securities offering without obtaining any additional registrations?

The Investment Banking Representative registration category is meant to include investment bankers who, as part of their job activities, advise on or facilitate the marketing of an offering. This would include activities such as preparing a marketing plan, advising on a marketing plan prepared by a sales team, or developing and/or contributing information for marketing materials. However, it would not include persons who actively market the offering and interact with investors or potential investors, such as a person who is engaging in road show activities. Such a person would also need to be registered as a General Securities Representative (SIE + Series 7 exam) or Private Securities Offerings Representative (SIE + Series 82 exam) depending on the type of offering being made.

3. I am registered as a General Securities Representative (Series 7) and engage in both the sales and marketing of private placements and public offerings. Do I need any additional registrations?

If you are only engaged in selling the offering or actively marketing the offering to investors or potential investors, the General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration is sufficient. However, if you want to engage in activities such as preparing a marketing plan or advising on a marketing plan prepared by a sales team or developing and/or contributing information for marketing materials, you would also need to be registered as an Investment Banking Representative by passing the Series 79 exam.