August 3, 2019
In memoriam of the victims of the weekend's mass murders,
the BrokeAndBroker.com Blog
has suspended the publication of new content for Monday, August 5, 2019.
Of the 10 FINRA Hearing Officers, 7 had some FINRA employment prior to their hearing officer role. As to the remaining three previously-non-FINRA-affiliated Hearing Officers, each of them was employed by the SEC. Imagine if 7 of the Hearing Officers were former in-house counsel at Wells Fargo or JP Morgan, and the other 3 were former lawyers at major law firms representing financial services firms. In that latter scenario, PIABA and other public advocates would scream bloody murder -- and with justification.
For those of you that have never been through the FINRA Hearing process, here's a quick rundown of how it works. FINRA Enforcement attorneys, FINRA location, and a FINRA Hearing Officer. Who is FINRA kidding?
It started with an anonymous tip to FINRA's Securities Helpline for Seniors. It progressed to a FINRA on-the-record interview. It ended with a Bar. All of which demonstrates how whistleblowers and tipsters can make Wall Street regulation more effective.
There's that wonderful lyric from the song "Born Under A Bad Sign" that laments if it weren't for bad luck, I wouldn't have no luck at all. A recent FINRA intra-industry arbitration pits a former AXA rep against his firm and two individuals. Throw into this dispute a bankruptcy petition (denied) and a $6.5 million demand for damages, and, well, you got a lot of bad signs but not much luck.
There are three "industry" seats set aside on the FINRA Nominating Committee. There are three "industry" categories of Large, Mid-Sized, and Small. Shamefully, there is not a single set-aside for a Small Firm Member Governor to sit on the Nominating Committee. 91% of FINRA's member firms have 0% representation on FINRA's Nominating Committee. And FINRA wonders why its Small Firm Member community feels isolated? Why some 3,261 firms feel marginalized? Why the Small Firm community looks upon the Nominating Committee's email as an unwanted interference in a contested election?