Message From Jim R. Webb, Candidate For 2017 Small Firm Governor

June 8, 2017

A personal message from Bill Singer, Publisher of the Blog:

I recently posted "2017 FINRA Small Firm Governor Petition Candidates" ( Blog, June 3, 2017). In that June 3rd article, I stated that:

The FINRA Small Firm community deserves capable, sincere, dedicated, veteran candidates for the 2017 FINRA Small Firm Governor seat. Get to know your candidates. Make your vote and voice count! 

In keeping with the desire to provide the FINRA Small Firm community with the best possible candidates, the Blog continues its policy of offering free space to all candidates. If you or someone you know is running as a candidate, contact Bill Singer, publisher of the Blog and arrange for the free posting of your comment, biography and petition. Last year, we featured comments, petitions, and ballots on behalf of Small Firm candidates Robert Muh (the victor), Robert Keenan, and Stephen Kohn. I look forward to working with all 2017 candidates and making common cause. 

Jim R. Webb, Chief Executive Officer of Cape Securities, Inc. is seeking election as a 2017 FINRA Small Firm Governor. Jim Webb and I had an excellent telephone conversation in which we introduced ourselves and discussed our views concerning FINRA's Small Firm community. In particular, we found ourselves in agreement on the need to cultivate fair-and-effective regulation that does not fall disproportionately upon smaller member firms. I look forward to working with Jim in the future and making common cause. 

With Stephen Kohn and Jim Webb, the FINRA small firm community now has two very capable, sincere, dedicated, veteran candidates for the 2017 FINRA Small Firm Governor seat. Get to know your candidates. Make your vote and voice count!   


Every month about 20 FINRA member firms surrender. They toss in the towel. They collapse under the burden of payroll, rent, compliance costs, and day to day expenses. Some candidates promise to try and help small firms. That's not what I am about. If elected I will help small firms. My goal is results not attempts. It's not enough to simply try and make things better for those of us in the Small Firm community. We have to succeed. Our families depend upon us to stay afloat and profitable.

Over the years, I have put my money where my mouth is and invested my time serving on various think-tanks and committees.  That experience has resulted in many improvements that have made a positive difference for our Small Firm community. But the fact remains that it keeps getting more difficult, more expensive, and more complicated to run and operate a small firm.

In my contacts with FINRA leadership, I can see that they are trying to understand, and trying to make changes that will help us. Unfortunately, they operate from the perspective of a regulator and lack our keen sense of what truly goes on in our end of the business. I intend to persuade FINRA to work more closely with those of us in the Small Firm community and to use us as a resource instead of viewing us as the enemy.

More than anything, I want to convince FINRA that the Small Firm community is a partner in regulation and that we want a clean industry with customer protections. On the other hand, FINRA needs to better comprehend that there are limits inherent in the ability of a Small Firm to digest all the new rule proposals and regulatory directives. FINRA needs to be educated as to the stress caused by a Small Firm undergoing an audit and trying to promptly provide documents and explanations while also trying to service its customers.  An audit should never involve a choice between staying open for business or timely responding to Staff requests. 

I know that we Small Firm owners have an obligation to work with our regulator; on the other hand, FINRA has to be a more economic and effective regulator. We have all exchanged the war stories about being overwhelmed with Staff demands for documents that we just provided to other regulators or to provide answers to questions that we have already answered (and sometimes answered multiple times). I do not doubt that FINRA has a daunting task but it's not a one-size-fits-all industry and our self-regulator needs to be more attentive to that fact. As a Small Firm owner, flash crashes and market manipulations  are not my day-to-day concern. If elected, I will work to convince FINRA to better tailor regulation to the needs of its various sizes of membership. We in the Small Firm community cannot afford to hire someone to spend their days marking "N/A" on all sorts of forms and requests. It's a waste of everyone's time and detracts from the seriousness of regulation.

Everyday more warnings come down about regulatory changes. Right now we're all grappling with the edicts from DOL. We also have rule proposals from FINRA. We have other things from the SEC and the States. Missing from most of the threats about implement these changes or else is anything even remotely taking the shape of a solution or helpful tip.

Small firms need help, guidance, and relief more now than ever.

I am seeking your vote so that the people at FINRA who make decisions will hear a voice of commonsense, and feel compassion for my day-to-day concerns.  FINRA does not seem to need any encouragement to spend money to educate the world's clients. On the other hand, FINRA does need to be encouraged to spend money to help and educate and support the remaining 3446 small firms,oops, 3445 . . . 3443 . . . I should have typed faster! 

A vote for me is a vote for you. A vote for communication. A vote for solutions.

Please take a moment and fill out my petition to run for this office.

Thank you

DOWNLOAD Petition to Nominate Jim R. Webb for 2017 FINRA Small Firm Governor  

DOWNLOAD Jim R. Webb's Biography