September 26, 2015
As best I recall, just over 50% of the population of the United States is female. I'm not quite sure of the actual 2015 statistics, but I'll bet you that about half of the staffing on Wall Street is female -- and we're talking stockbrokers, traders, back-office, support, commissioned, and salaried folks. I'll also bet you, however, that if you were to plot a scatter-gram of the total compensation paid to the financial services industry's women versus men, you would immediately note that women largely cluster around the lower-paying range and men cluster around the higher. If there is a salaried position, it's likely staffed by a woman. If there is a higher-paying commission position, it's likely staffed by a male. Which is not to say that there aren't men getting salaries on the low-end or women sitting in C-Suites with seven-figure packages. There are. But what we're talking about here are not the exceptions but the culture. Go visit any broker-dealer branch and count the number of stockbrokers who are women versus men. For a completely unscientific study, consider the search results in Google Image for "stockbrokers."
Today's BrokeAndBroker.com Blog presents an example of how Wall Street places far too many of the industry's women in awkward circumstances that frequently result in regulatory and compliance violations. Which makes you wonder why the industry and its regulators seem oblivious to the consequences of such sexist policies and practices. READ
On September 23, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies published its recommendation "regarding the regulation of finders and other intermediaries in small business capital formation transactions." In attempting to bring clarity to this area, which has become overly reliant on ad hoc No-Action Letters and, as a consequence, left many smaller deals languishing for lack of interest, the Advisory Committee does a great service for a frequently under-served corporate finance sector. On the other hand, since the low-end of the spectrum is frequently the playground of scam artists seeking to push crapola, there will likely need to be some careful deliberation about the consequences of enacting the recommended changes. Notwithstanding, the time has come to clean up the regulations attendant to finder's fees and to make it easier for legitimate deals to find qualified investors. READ
Among the most frequent queries I get from potential clients in my law practice is the one involving the expungement of a registered person's Form U4 or Central Registration Depository ("CRD"). What frequently surprises many individuals is the two-part nature of the process; namely, that you typically have to prevail at a FINRA arbitration and, thereafter, obtain a court order. That's twice the cost and twice the time that many had anticipated. A recent expungement case sets out the process in clear and understandable fashion. The BrokeAndBroker.com Blog offers this material as an exercise in what is involved and how long the process may take. READ
As reported in 'Troubling' New Arbitration System Brewing at Morgan Stanley (Wealthmanagement.com by Megan Leonhardt, September 22, 2015), Morgan Stanley is rolling out a so-called internalarbitration forum under the clunky name of "Convenient Access to Resolutions for Employees" or CARE. No . . . I ain't a fan of too-clever attempts to shoehorn some dubious venture into a cute acronym. Worse, I generally detest so-called negative consent programs where everyone is "in" if you don't opt out. Gotta give Morgan Stanley credit, they managed to catch my attention with an awkard acronym and a negative consent enrollment plan. READ
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It sort of looked like an open-and-shut case in which Ameriprise went after a former employee for some $62,000 in balances due on two promissory notes. I mean, you know, these "collection" arbitrations generally wind up with verdicts for the employer. This time, however, things get turned on their head amid allegations by the former employee that he was pressured to push insurance product -- and there was a stunning allegation that the firm's back-office and technology just weren't up to the task. READ