Administration and Judicial Review

Section 421-B:6-601

    421-B:6-601 Administration of Chapter. –
(a) Administration. The secretary of state shall administer this chapter. The secretary of state may appoint deputy secretaries of state or designees who shall serve as director and who may be classified or unclassified employees whose salary shall be that of or comparable to that of a deputy secretary of state, to administer the provisions of this chapter. The secretary of state may also appoint deputy directors who shall perform such duties as may be assigned by the secretary of state, deputy secretary of state, or designee, or director, to administer the provisions of this chapter. The secretary of state shall, to the greatest extent practical, physically and substantively consolidate the activities and functions related to corporations, limited partnerships, and other business organizations and entities administered by the department of state with the activities and functions related to the registration of securities.
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the secretary of state shall have exclusive authority and jurisdiction:
(1) To register securities.
(2) To license the following:
(A) Broker-dealers.
(B) Investment advisers.
(C) Agents.
(D) Investment adviser representatives.
(3) Together with the attorney general, to issue, amend, or rescind such orders as are reasonably necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
(4) To bring administrative actions to enforce the securities law.
(5) To investigate and impose penalties for violations of the securities laws, including:
(A) Revoking, suspending, or denying licenses and registrations.
(B) Fines.
(C) Rescission, restitution, or disgorgement.
(6) Together with the attorney general, to bring actions pursuant to RSA 421-B:6-603.
(7) To investigate conduct that would be an unfair or deceptive act or practice under RSA 358-A and that is subject to the jurisdiction of the director of securities regulation pursuant to RSA 358-A:3, I.
(8) To issue letters of censure, caution, warning, or admonition pursuant to audits or inspections under RSA 421-B:4-409(d), investigations under RSA 421-B:6-602, or hearings under RSA 421-B:6-613.
(c) The exclusive authority and jurisdiction to issue licenses pursuant to RSA 421-B:6-601(b)(2) shall not be read to limit the authority of the department of insurance to license sellers of products where licensure is required both by RSA 421-B and Title XXXVII.
(d) The secretary of state shall have all powers specifically granted or reasonably implied in order to perform the substantive responsibilities imposed by this chapter.
(e) Unlawful use of records or information. It is unlawful for the secretary of state or officer, employee, or designee of the secretary of state to use for personal benefit or the benefit of others records or other information obtained by or filed with the secretary of state that are not public under RSA 421-B:6-607(b). The secretary of state may disclose records or information in accordance with RSA 91-A.
(f) No common law privilege or exemption created or diminished. Except for the privilege from defamation in RSA 421-B:4-406(i), this chapter does not create or diminish any privilege or exemption that exists at common law, by statute, rule, or otherwise.
(g) Investor education. The secretary of state may develop and implement investor education initiatives to inform the public about investing in securities, with particular emphasis on the prevention and detection of securities fraud. In developing and implementing these initiatives, the secretary of state may collaborate with public and nonprofit organizations with an interest in investor education. The secretary of state may accept grants or donations from a person that is not affiliated with the securities industry or from a nonprofit organization, regardless of whether or not the organization is affiliated with the securities industry, to develop and implement investor education initiatives. This subsection does not authorize the secretary of state to require participation or monetary contributions of a registrant in an investor education program.
(h) Investor education fund. All moneys collected as an administrative penalty under this chapter and all moneys collected pursuant to RSA 421-B:6-614(a)(4), and (5), shall be credited to an investor education fund to be maintained by the state treasurer. Funds in excess of $725,000 at the end of each fiscal year shall be credited to the general fund. The secretary of state, after deducting administrative costs, shall use moneys credited to that fund to provide information to residents of this state about investments in securities, to help investors and potential investors evaluate their investment decisions, protect themselves from unfair, inequitable, or fraudulent offerings, choose their broker-dealers, agents, or investment advisers more carefully, be alert for false or misleading advertising or other harmful practices, and know their rights as investors. The state treasurer shall pay the expenses of investor education out of the investor education fund consisting of the funds. The investor education fund shall be nonlapsing and continually appropriated for the purpose of paying the expenses of investor education, except that the fund shall at no time exceed $725,000.
(i) The secretary of state shall collect all fees and charges required under this chapter and shall pay them to the state treasurer to be deposited in the general fund as unrestricted revenue, except as provided in RSA 421-B:6-601(h).

Source. 2015, 273:1, eff. Jan. 1, 2016.