August 24, 2019
On August 19, 2019, FINRA announced the historic, upset victories of two Petition Candidates for its Large Member Firm and Small Member Firm Board of Governors elections. That result was a stunning rebuff of FINRA's Nominating Committee nominees, and an indication of the growing unrest among the organization's three-thousand-plus member firms. NASD and FINRA have a long history of promised reforms, which is matched by an equally long history of deflection, delay, and inaction. All of which has fostered a seething resentment among the regulator's Small Firm Member community, which sees its 91% majority marginalized. For the last 20 years, NASD/FINRA has largely fended off its dissidents. But we've learned from our mistakes. We've learned from FINRA's mistakes. We persist. FINRA resists. To FINRA's dismay, we're still here -- but now we're getting louder and stronger. For a sense of the Dissident agenda, see some of the reprinted articles below. Please, take note of the dates of the reform proposals (some of which have since come to pass but too few to truly matter).
If it wasn't for stupidity, lawyers would have nothing to do for a living. Take today's featured FINRA regulatory settlement. We got a Wall Street veteran with over a decade of experience. Looks like she built a decent enough career. She was registered with a broker-dealer and also handling some insurance biz. Then the stupid kicked in. 132 automobile trips. 41 expense reports. Apparently, all of said rides were fictitious but, hey, why not submit reimbursement for the business expenses anyway, right? Stupid is as stupid does.
In a recent regulatory settlement, FINRA told Lime Brokerage to put the lime in the coconut and shake it all up. Well, okay, maybe that's not exactly correct. Perhaps FINRA told Lime to put its written supervisory procedures in a coconut and take the coconut and shove it up its . . . well, okay, that's not exactly right either. On the other hand, that last variation on the theme it ain't all that wrong either.
FINRA Small Member Firm Petition Candidate Linde Murphy defeated FINRA incumbent Small Member Firm Governor and FINRA Nominating Committee candidate Robert Muh. Additionally, Large Member Firm Petition Candidate Christopher Flint from FINRA member firm ProEquities, Inc. defeated incumbent Large Member Firm Governor and FINRA Nominating Committee candidate Andrew Duff of FINRA Member Firm Piper Jaffray & Co. These outcomes constitute stunning rebuffs of FINRA's Nominating Committee and underscore the serious rifts that exist and are growing between FINRA's powers-that-be and its membership.
After many years of employment at Wells Fargo, two reps decided to join another firm. Hey, it happens. The new employer offered a substantial upfront bonus. Nice! The new firm promised to facilitate the transition of the reps' accounts. Alas, after some six-months into the new gig, the transition thing didn't seem to go as smoothly as the reps had expected. All of which prompted the reps to resign and move on. They want to keep their bonuses. The new employer wants the moolah back. The lights dim. The curtain rises. Act I, Scene 1 of an intra-industry FINRA lawsuit.