The initiative aims to promote cross-border investment within ASEAN by granting fast track authorization to foreign market professionals already authorized in another jurisdiction by recognizing their home certifications based on agreed policy issues / technical points such as the scope of products and activities, the requirements for market professionals, information-sharing / cooperation among members to assist with probity checks and the need to close any prevailing gaps in the examination syllabuses among jurisdictions. The initiative paves way for actual market integration when jurisdictions are ready to permit freer flow of capital within the region.

Under the agreement, a locally-licensed firm will be responsible for the activities of the foreign market professional as evidenced by a written undertaking. Activities and conduct of such foreign professional will be deemed to be done on behalf of the local licensed firm for its clients. In addition, the market professional is also required to be affiliated with a licensed intermediary in his home jurisdiction.

Foreign market professionals will be required to comply with business conduct rules of host jurisdictions where products are sold. Hence, they have to take examinations and refresher courses in rules and regulations of the host jurisdictions to ensure their comprehension of local laws and rules governing their activities, unless exempted by the host regulator. The foreign market professionals need not be accompanied by locally authorized market professionals if they have already taken the regulatory examinations, or if the host regulator deems the foreign market professionals to be sufficiently familiar with the local laws and rules.

Foreign market professionals authorized under this scheme will be required to maintain active status of their authorization in their home jurisdictions. On-going information sharing and cooperation among members will be required to assist with probity checks on status and qualification of foreign authorized market professionals.

ACMF members jointly adopt the “Common Supervisory Framework” for mutual recognition of qualifications of market professionals at its 5th ACMF meeting in 2006. The framework will be used as guidelines by members wishing to pursue further mutual recognition with other members. The scope of financial products included in the agreement are equity and debt securities, mutual funds and financial derivatives, excluding commodities products and their derivatives, and products related to insurance policy. The scope of activities encompass dealing, advice incidental to dealing, advice on suitability, excluding research analysis, asset management and trading execution.

On August 16, 2007, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Securities and Exchange Commission, Thailand signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide mutual recognition of market professionals. The MOU establishes a framework for the mutual recognition of the product knowledge examination required for market professionals dealing with securities and collective investment schemes in Singapore and Thailand.