Parked Registrations And Lack Of Supervision Derail Firm And President

August 16, 2013

For the purpose of proposing a settlement of rule violations alleged by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"), without admitting or denying the findings, prior to a regulatory hearing, and without an adjudication of any issue, Ni Advisors, Inc. and Sui-Hock Goy submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of Ni Advisors, Inc. and Sui-Hock Goy, Respondents (AWC 20110256635-01, July 26, 2013).

Ni Advisors, Inc. has been a FINRA member firm since 2005 with about 33 registered persons in seven office. On February 18. 2005. Goy, who entered the industry in 1996, associated with Ni Advisors and is a 100% owner, President, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, and Director.  

RIA Supervisory Failures

Registered Person Unsupervised

The AWC alleges that from September 3, 2010,  through August 30, 2011, Ni Advisors and Goy failed to supervise, provide written approval for, or monitor the Registered Investment Advisory ("RIA") activities of a registered representative/principal who engaged in 1,445 securities transactions through the RIA at a time when he was not associated or affiliated with the firm. The AWC alleges that such conduct was in violation of NASD Rules 3010 and 3040(c ) , and FINRA Rule 2010.

Parking Lot

The AWC alleged that four Ni Advisors' registered persons were not engaged in the investment banking, securities business, or options business (as their various registrations might require) on behalf of the firm from respective periods of time that started as early as 2007 and one of which ended as late as July 2012. The AWC alleges that such conduct was in violation of NASD Rules 1031(a), 1032(d) and NASD Rule 2110 (from May 2007 through December 14, 2008) or FINRA Rule 2010 (from December 15, 2008).

539 Plans

The AWC alleges that acting through Goy, Ni Advisors sold eleven 539 Plans between October 5, 2009, and August 19, 2010 without registering with the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). In addition, Ni Advisors permitted an individual registered solely as an Investment Company Products / Variable Contracts Representative to sell one 539 plan. The AWC alleges that the cited 539 infractions constitute separate and distinct violation of MSRB Rules A-12 and G-3(b)(iii)(B)

Sanctions . . . and a nasty surprise

In accordance with the terms of the AWC, FINRA imposed upon Respondents Ni Advisors and Goy a joint and several $13,750 fine. The AWC asserts that it imposed a lower fine after considering, among other factors, Ni Advisors' financial resources. 

More ominously,Ni Advisors' and Goy's settlements include a finding that each failed to supervise an individual who violated MSRB Rules A-12 and G-3(b)(iii)(B), and, accordingly, pursuant to FINRA's By-Laws Article III, Section 4, the member and the individual are subject to a statutory disqualification.