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2021, April - MEMBER SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEW: Bart McDonald

03/31/2021 10:53 AM | Anonymous

Meet Bart McDonald, (EVP/COO) and (Renaissance Regulatory Services, Inc.). A (Corporate Member) of the FSDA

Bart, please tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in Devon, Pennsylvania but spent most of my childhood in Chappaqua, New York. I earned a BS in Marketing from Merrimack College in Andover Massachusetts and then came south to Boca Raton, where I obtained a BA in Economics and my Master of Business Administration from Florida Atlantic University. I first learned about the “compliance” side of the financial services industry while completing my MBA and working part-time at Securities Consultants International, LLC, where I prepared Net Capital statements and filed FOCUS reports for broker-dealers with the then Nation Association of Securities Dealers (“NASD”). That experience opened a whole career path in compliance, and after a short stint with Templeton Global Investors, Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, I worked for regulatory compliance practices at KPMG L.L.P. and BISYS Regulatory Services. I then went to work for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Southeast Regional Office, where I was an examiner and Branch Chief from 2004 through 2006. In 2007 I joined Renaissance Regulatory Services, Inc. (“RRS”), as Executive Vice President and Co-Owner where I am responsible for RRS’ investment advisory practice.

Tell us a little about your firm?

RRS provides a comprehensive suite of regulatory compliance consulting and support services designed to help broker-dealers, investment advisers, and other financial institutions meet their ever-changing regulatory requirements. We focus on a customized, “hands on” approach designed to integrate with the firm’s compliance infrastructure. Our consultants work closely with senior management and compliance personnel to assess each firm’s unique needs, develop recommendations, and prepare a project plan to implement the recommended strategy. We offer a wide range of services, which include compliance examinations, policies and procedures, regulatory response and litigation support, ongoing compliance support programs, and business planning, startup, registration, and licensing.

Why is it important for RRS, to be a member of the FSDA?

FSDA’s mission is to advocate on behalf of the industry and provide education opportunities for our members and Florida's investing public.

I believe this aligns with our core values as a Firm. We view ourselves as partners with our clients to help them navigate the regulatory maze. An important element of that is understanding the state and federal securities laws and then communicating them in an understandable and actionable way. In addition, when our clients are going through a regulatory examination, our job is to advocate for them with the regulators to ensure their business practices are properly communicated. The FSDA allows us to provide our clients indirect input with their Florida regulator while utilizing our educational approach to consulting to the wider Florida constituency regarding investor education, financial exploitation of seniors and other vulnerable adults, privacy, and a host of other important issues.

I know that the members at FSDA are incredibly involved locally in the within their communities. Please tell us a little bit about that involvement and your firm’s “give something back” initiative.

We are in the middle of a global pandemic and fortunate to work in an industry that has been less harmed by this pandemic than many other industries. Our Firm, driven by our employees, resolved to give back locally and we have provided time and resources as a group to local food banks, and most recently to preparing non-perishable care packages (socks, granola bars, toothbrushes, water bottles etc.) to hand out to whomever we see or pass by in our daily life that appears in need. That hands on approach works well for our size Firm and is also the approach the FSDA takes regarding financial education and Florida specific regulatory issues.

Bart, thanks for taking time to speak with us today.

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