FINRA 2017 Small Firm Governor Election Underway

July 24, 2017

On August 22, 2017, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") will conduct its annual meeting, at which time the self-regulatory organization will elect one small firm Governor (up to 150 registered representatives) and one large firm Governor (500 or more registered representatives) for a three-year term.  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.  In order to ensure that the voice of FINRA's small firm community is heard, it is critical that you ensure that your firm's proxy is timely submitted by your Executive Representative. "Notice of Annual Meeting of FINRA Firms and Proxy" (Election Notice, July 21, 2017).

A personal message from Bill Singer, Esq.,
publisher of the Blog

Stephen A. Kohn, President/CEO, Stephen A. Kohn & Associates, Ltd., is one of three nominees for 2017 FINRA Small Firm Governor. Stephen has demonstrated a persistent and consistent record as an unabashed advocate for industry reform and effective regulation. Stephen seeks election as the 2017 FINRA Small Firm Governor in order to make sure that someone fights for the legitimate needs of FINRA's besieged small firms. 

In recent weeks, Stephen Kohn has joined me in seeking redress of FINRA's unfair fine and excessive term of suspension of military veteran Richard Botkin, read: "Stephen Kohn and Hugh Hewitt Champion Richard Botkin's FINRA Appeal" ( Blog, July 14, 2017). It is a testament to Stephen's character that following my report about Botkin's dilemma, he immediately reached out to me and offered his assistance. Moreover, Stephen took the initiative and contacted FINRA to press for reconsideration of Botkin's sanctions. I hope to report back to my readers soon with more developments on this case. 

Time and time again, Stephen Kohn steps forward when others hang back. Time and time again, Stephen speaks up when others remain silent. As a founder of the NASD and FINRA Dissident Movement (See, "THE MARKETS; Two Independents Are Elected To Serve on N.A.S.D.'s Board" (New York Times, December 22, 1998), and a 35-year industry veteran, I have tired of candidates for FINRA elective office who talk the talk but won't walk the walk. I know that following his election as the 2017 FINRA Small Firm Governor, Stephen will advance the cause of industry reform and remain a passionate voice in raising the legitimate grievances of the small firm community.

I support Stephen Kohn's candidacy for the 2017 FINRA Small Firm Governor and urge all Blog readers to press their FINRA Small Firm's Executive Representative to cast a proxy in support of Stephen Kohn's candidacy.

for 2017 FINRA Small Firm Governor.

Stephen A. Kohn & Associates, Ltd.

3232 South Vance Street, Suite 210
Lakewood, Colorado 80227

I have been employed in the financial services industry since 1984, to which I have devoted most of my working life.  Founded in 1996, I own and operate a FINRA, member firm, Stephen A, Kohn & Associates, Ltd. ("SAKL") located in Lakewood, Colorado.  SAKL is a small, full service, independent broker/dealer, catering to the needs of 28 independent representatives and their clients, with office locations in seven states, registered in thirty-five.

I have been twice elected to the National Adjudicatory Council ("NAC") by FINRA's small firms, first in 2009 and again in 2014.  I currently serve on the NAC, as one of your two small firm members. The NAC is FINRA's appellate division, hearing appeals to enforcement decisions and other issues.

I have been appointed to, and serve, on the NAC's Sanction Guideline Review Sub-Committee.  This sub-committee has been convened to review and revise the guidelines, ensure that sanctions in appeals that are upheld by the NAC are fair and appropriate and to recommend revisions to the Sanction Guidelines as needed.  I am also an Industry Arbitrator.

I hold the following securities licenses: Series, 7, 24, 53, 63, 72, 73, 79 and 99.  I graduated from C.W. Post College of Long Island University in 1964 with a BA degree and have also served in the U.S. Coast Guard.

I have been, and will continue to be, your outspoken voice, fighting for serious recognition as a more than viable asset to the investing public.

In an environment of rapidly changing technology, the small Broker/Dealer provides a real, live voice on the other end of the line, to the investing public.  We service the investors with whom the "big guys" consider a bother and waste of time.  Yet, we're not taken as a serious force in the industry even though we are over 90% of FINRA's membership.

Things will not change overnight or, perhaps, ever.  But the only promise I can make to you is that, on your behalf, our voices will be heard and, hopefully, make a difference in the misguided perception that we are orphans, waiting to be adopted, or give up and go away.

The need for regulation is necessary now, more than ever.  But, it must be meted out with an even hand.  We cannot be held to the same standard as those "too big to fail" institutions.  We must be judged relative to who we are and the services we provide.

The "Regulators" will never know who we really are until they've walked a mile in our shoes and judge us accordingly.

Your vote will bring me to where I can deliver our message to those who control our destiny.

READ Stephen's Online Biography

READ Stephen's BrokeAndBroker.Com Guest Blogs