A personal note from Bill Singer to all FINRA Member Firms:
If you recently read my "Time for a FINRA Tea Party?" article http://www.brokeandbroker.com/index.php?a=blog&id=405, you know that I have called for robust, open, democratic nominations for candidates to FINRA's Board of Governors. At present, for the reasons stated in the above article, I simply cannot support any FINRA Nominating Committee candidate.
A number of individuals have contacted me seeking my support for their nomination as a Board Candidate. If, as, and when requested, I will consider supporting qualified men and women to run as Petition Candidates.
Please, I beg you, do not simply check-off all the names on any slate of candidates -- whether those names are sent to you by FINRA or by any other group. Research the nominees that you are being asked to support. Do your homework. You can no longer afford to waste your votes. You've done that year after year with disastrous results. This time, make your vote matter!
I submit for your consideration the Petition for Small Firm Petition Candidate Karen Fischer. I am troubled by the lack of female Petition Candidates in this race. The FINRA Dissident/Reform Movement has many qualified women in our ranks and it is inexcusable that more of them are not running and are not being nominated by industry trade groups and regional interests.
Please review Karen's letter below, and sign/return her attached petition.
Karen Z Fischer
20869 Pinar Trail
Dear FINRA Executive Representatives,
I am writing to you to ask for your support in getting my name listed as one of the three candidates you are entitled to vote for as part of the ballot to represent you on the Board of Governors. I would like to run for the three (3) year term. I have recently completed my three year term as part of the District 7 Conduct Committee. Rest assured, I did bring to the committee meetings issues concerning the small firm population that has arisen due to the consolidation of NASD and the NYSE. I had no problems being very verbal and was able to get my points across. Unfortunately, I do not believe that on the district level we make that much impact, Being a member of the Board of Governors would allow me to continue trying to make a difference,
We need to make doing business for our members easier, not harder, especially during this very competitive time where businesses are counting on every penny they can get. The current regulatory body has missed horrendous issues, but has no trouble fining a small firm that does not handle cash or securities for AML procedures. We need to have regulation that is responsive to small firm issues and not try to fit us into rules that do not pertain to us. One size fits all does not work.
I have watched first hand as regulation after regulation has forced small firms out of business and have driven up the cost of maintaining a Broker Dealer. I not only listen to your concerns, I am directly involved in those concerns. As a Financial and Operations Principal and Compliance Principal for a number of small firms, I deal with regulation on a day to day basis. I am all for regulation. We need to clean up the industry and turn the public opinion around. We need to protect ourselves against another Bernie Madoff or Stanford, but we need to do it in the right manner. We need to get representation on the board that has no ties to the "good old boys club." We need change. We need regulators to focus on the real issues, and spend less time on administrative issues that have no bearing on the public. We need to be able to work with our regulators like a team for the same goal, an ethical and honest industry. We need to have the best representation afforded to us to be able to achieve these goals. We need representatives that are willing to address your concerns without being influenced by others on the board. The only way this can be achieved is by your vote. Whomever you decide to support, your vote is your voice. Use it and use it loudly.
Getting my name on the ballot is only the first step to good small firm representation. I have to win the position to make a difference.
Ms. Karen Fischer Biography:
I am a graduate accountant from
My positions directly expose me to regulation, regulators and securities attorneys. I have experience working with the FINRA, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the IRS, and the FBI. As an arbitrator, I have been involved in issues that are vital to the survival of a firm, from both sides of the spectrum. Being an arbitrator exposes me first hand to compliance issues a book or classroom could never touch on.
In order for me to be nominated and my name placed on the ballot I need at least ten percent (10%) of the eligible members signed petitions returned to FINRA immediately. Mary Schapiro's gift to us is limiting our voice to 3 votes, and many of the choices are hand picked by FINRA. If you want to take back your election process, it is necessary to complete these petitions and make a statement. You do not want to be told who to vote for; you want to choose your own candidates.
Please sign the enclosed petition and either fax it to (202) 728-8075, or email it to email@example.com
Thanks you in advance for your support. Together we can make change happen.
Karen Z Fischer
Petition for Nomination
Financial Industry and Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA)
2010 Board of Governors' Election
In accordance with applicable By-Laws of FINRA
Executive Representative Name:
Firm CRD Number:
I hereby nominate the following Candidate for a contested election for a three year term on the Small Firm slate of the Board of Governors.
I hereby certify that I am an Executive Representative of a Finra member firm and as such I am eligible to cast one vote for the following candidate:
Karen Z Fischer- Third Class Candidate- 3 Year Term
Financial and Operations Principal/ Compliance Officer
Hunter Scott Financial, LLC
(561) 483-6335 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Executive Representative Signature: