On August 7, 2020, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") will conduct its annual meeting, at which time the self-regulatory organization will elect one Small Firm Member Governor (1 to 150 registered representatives). Pursuant to FINRA's rules, member firms may only vote for a nominee from their respective sized firm. A proxy was mailed to each eligible firm's Executive Representative. Proxies may be submitted by "any lawful means," which include telephone, mail, or Internet. "Notice of Annual Meeting of FINRA Firms and Proxy" (Election Notice, July 8, 2020).
Finance, Operations & Technology Committee
Management Compensation Committee
Nominating & Governance Committee
Regulatory Policy Committee
Regulatory Operations Oversight Committee
Management Compensation Committee
The Management Compensation Committee reviews and recommends changes to FINRA's compensation policies, programs and practices, with the primary objective that FINRA attract, develop and retain high performing individuals who are capable of achieving FINRA's mission of ensuring market integrity and investor protection. The Committee also reviews the plans for the development, retention and succession of key executives of the Corporation and its subsidiaries.
Nominating & Governance Committee (Nominating Committee)
The Nominating and Governance Committee is responsible for nominating persons for appointment or election to the FINRA Board, as well as nominating persons to fill vacancies in appointed or elected governor seats on the Board. The Committee also nominates Industry and Public members for positions on FINRA's National Adjudicatory Council.The Committee is responsible for periodically reviewing and recommending changes to standing committee charters and, in consultation with the CEO, nominates the members and chairs of each standing committee of the Board. Also in consultation with the CEO, the Committee develops and recommends to the Board guidelines for effective corporate governance. In addition, the Committee reviews and approves appointments to each of FINRA's advisory committees and changes to the advisory committee enabling resolutions.
[F]INRA's Board of Governors is a non-representative entity nurtured by an indefensible system of gerrymandering whereby over 91% of the organization's member firms (those designated as "Small" and defined as having at least 1 but no more than 150 registered representatives) are restricted to only 3 of 24 seats (less than 13% of the organization's membership). Worse, FINRA's Nominating and Governance Committee, which nominates candidates for Governors, does not have one Small Firm Governor among its seven member committee https://www.finra.org/about/governance/standing-committees
With the exception of Small Firm Governor Stephen Kohn, who is now seeking re-election to a second term, I know of no current Governor who is aggressively supporting efforts to seat a Small Firm Governor on the Nominating Committee.Given FINRA's social engineering of its Board and key Committees, and given the ongoing demise of FINRA's overall membership, I refuse to afford this so-called self-regulatory-organization any legitimacy and continue to call for its decertification. Consequently, while I welcome the election of Eileen Murray as Chair, I urge her to rectify the outrageous lack of fair representation on FINRA's Board and Committees.
Bridgewater Over Troubled FINRA Waters (BrokeAndBroker.com Blog)http://www.brokeandbroker.com/5328/bridgewater-finra-board/
Inevitably, I must ask -- indeed, all Wall Street reform advocates must wonder -- whether FINRA's Nominating Committee knew about the AAA hearing panel's finding of fabrication of evidence that occurred during the new Board Chair Eileen Murray's term as CEO of Bridgewater. If the Nominating Committee knew of the allegations/findings about fabricated evidence, was that disclosed to all FINRA Board members before they voted to approve Murray's nomination? If the Nominating Committee did not know about the fabricated evidence issue, shouldn't Murray have disclosed such facts during the vetting process given that FINRA is Wall Street's leading self-regulatory-organization?
Also READ:I am a journalist and lawyer, currently host of a nationally syndicated radio talk show. Before retiring in 2018 I spent 35 years in the successful practice of law while also practicing the craft of journalism. I am a graduate of Harvard College and the University of Michigan Law School, have been confirmed unanimously by the United States Senate to be Deputy Director of the US Office of Personnel Management, served as Assistant Counsel in the White House for President Reagan and as Special Assistant to two Attorneys General as well as having been appointed to two state wide boards in California and serving for 18 years on the Orange County Children and Families Commission. I know the regulated world as a regulator, as the regulated and as counsel to the regulated.One of my closest friends is a former Marine Corps infantry officer who served 15 years of combined active and reserve duty. He is also an accomplished historian and film maker. His primary calling has been as an investment advisor for almost as long as I've been a lawyer. He's one the very best men I know as his dozens of missionary trips to Southeast Asia would testify.Several years ago, this man and his very large investment firm parted ways over what I consider a misunderstanding about his firm's and industry's rules. Thereafter, in 2017, FINRA fined him $15,000 and suspended him for four months. For those of us who know him and the facts of the controversy, what FINRA did to him was a travesty -- a genuine injustice and the consequences of every bad tendency of bureaucracy I have observed over four decades in public service, the law and media. If you spend 30 minutes on the matter you would agree. It shocks my conscience what FINRA did here and I am not easily shocked. But it's just regulators doing what regulators do: damaging lives while doing no discernible good for anyone and a great deal of harm to his clients, of which I was and remain, as do many members of my family. I cannot make it any clearer than this: He is among the finest, most trustworthy people I know.Stephen Kohn, a perfect stranger to my friend, learned about Richard's plight, contacted him in 2017, and offered his help. Then a sitting member of FINRA's National Adjudicatory Council, Stephen took the initiative on his behalf and urged FINRA to reconsider his sanctions and fine. Given his extraordinary record of charitable work and his military service, Stephen argued that the sanctions were an injustice. Unfortunately, FINRA refused to do anything. Perhaps in consideration of Stephen's advocacy on behalf of this individual, in 2017, his peers elected him to a three-year term on FINRA's Board of Governors.The other day, my friend called me to let me know that Stephen Kohn was running for re-election as the 2020 FINRA Small Firm Governor. I remembered Stephen as someone who put everything aside to help a Marine in need. I remember that Stephen didn't even know my friend when he took on a stranger's case and fought the good fight. In these dire times, we need more folks like Stephen in all sorts of leading roles in our country. Certainly, FINRA will benefit from having such a class act on its Board. Far too often bureaucratic machines simply grind up the small matters that come their way. "Captured" agencies often serve only the largest interests in the areas they are charged with patrolling. I still believe that is what happened to my friend and thus I whole heartedly supported Stephen's first candidacy. I was not involved in the controversy but saw first hand how your industry very much needs proponents of justice for every broker and advisor, not just big banks or houses.For what it's worth, I whole-heartedly endorse Stephen Kohn's candidacy for the 2020 FINRA Small Firm Governor, and I urge everyone able to cast a vote, to vote for him.
Stephen Kohn And Hugh Hewitt Champion Richard Botkin's FINRA Appeal
(BrokeAndBroker.com Blog / July 14, 2017)http://www.brokeandbroker.com/3526/botkin-finra-awc/Vote For Stephen Kohn For 2020 FINRA Small Firm Governor
(BrokeAndBroker.com Blog / July 13, 2020)http://www.brokeandbroker.com/5319/stephen-kohn-small-firm-governor/Bridgewater Over Troubled FINRA Waters
(BrokeAndBroker.com Blog / July 15, 2020)http://www.brokeandbroker.com/5328/bridgewater-finra-board/Updated material about Murray v. Bridgewater (Securities Industry Commentator / July 27, 2020)http://www.rrbdlaw.com/5338/securities-industry-commentator/#murrayREAD about Stephen Kohn's activism during his 2017 - 2020 term as Small Firm Governor