Blog by Bill Singer Esq WEEK IN REVIEW

June 13, 2020

( Blog)
Guest Blogger Aegis Frumento observes that education in this country has become too expensive. We need a solution, Frumento says, because whenever a thing becomes too expensive for the masses, it becomes reserved for the privileged. Education, once thought to be the great leveler, has become in too many ways another tool for entrenching the already powerful.
Where there's smoke, there's fire. Unless there isn't any fire but only smoke. And thus we have the conundrum of today's featured FINRA Arbitration Decision. Did a rep double-bill his clients for asset management fees? Maybe. Maybe not. One thing that's for sure, no such proof was presented at the hearing. Should the unanswered questions prompt FINRA the regulator to intrude into FINRA the arbitration forum? Would your answer change if you knew that the rep won a dismissal of the claims? Our publisher Bill Singer, Esq. doesn't have an answer. See what you think.
In both FINRA's Code of Procedure (which is used for regulation of member firms and their associated persons) and FINRA's Code of Arbitration Procedure (which is used to handle arbitrations in both customer and intra-industry disputes), it is critical for associated persons to ensure that their "last known address" is maintained by FINRA in current form. Around far too many office water coolers on Wall Street where dubious wisdom is dispelled by folks lacking law degrees, the advice has been given that if you get sued by a customer just don't open any certified mail. If you don't open it and you don't sign for it, the water-cooler wisdom goes, they can't nail you. I mean sure, that all sounds good but for the fact that the advice is garbage. 

What Presidential Sounds Like ( Blog)
Amid another time of blood and violence, Lincoln understood the origin was retribution for the institution of slavery. In response, he offered malice to none and charity to all. He strove to bind up the nation's wounds. Different times. Different Presidents.

A personal note from Bill Singer, Blog:

Stephen A. Kohn is running as a candidate for the 2020 Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") Small Firm Governor seat on the self-regulatory organization's Board. Stephen has demonstrated a persistent and consistent record as an unabashed advocate for industry reform and effective regulation. He is not running for office in order to burnish his resume. Without question, Stephen seeks a Board seat in order to shake things up, to force consideration of reforms that are long overdue, and to make sure that someone fights for the legitimate needs of FINRA's besieged small firms.  

I supported Stephen's successful candidacy for the 2017 FINRA Small Firm Governor seat and support his bid for a second term in 2020. I urge all Securities Industry Commentator and Blog readers to press their FINRA member firm's Executive Representative to support Stephen's candidacy for the Board.
As set forth in part "Upcoming FINRA Board of Governors Election / Petitions for Candidacy Due: June 22, 2020" (FINRA Election Notice / May 8, 2020)

Petition Process for Additional Candidates

A person who has not been nominated by the Nominating Committee for election to the FINRA Board may be included on the ballot for the election of governors if:

a. within 45 days after the date of this Election Notice (Monday, June 22, 2020), such person presents to FINRA's Corporate Secretary petitions in support of his or her nomination, duly executed by at least 3 percent of FINRA member firms entitled to vote for such nominee's election. If, however, a candidate's name appears on a petition in support of more than one nominee, the petition must be endorsed by 10 percent of FINRA member firms entitled to vote for such nominees' election; and

b. the Corporate Secretary certifies that such petitions have been duly executed by the executive representatives of the requisite number of FINRA member firms entitled to vote for such person's election, and the person being nominated satisfies the classification of the governorship to be filled.

As of the close of business on Thursday, May 7, 2020, the number of FINRA large firms was 166, and the number of small firms was 3,165. Therefore, the requisite number of petitions for a large firm petitioner is 5, and the requisite number of petitions for a small firm petitioner is 95.

Firms may only endorse one petitioner for the same firm size seat as their own. No firm may endorse more than one such petitioner.

Petitioners must submit sufficient information to determine the person's status with respect to the category for which he or she is petitioning to be nominated. Individuals seeking nomination for election as a Large Firm Governor or a Small Firm Governor have an obligation to satisfy the firm-size classification on the date the petition is circulated, the date the petitions are certified by FINRA's Corporate Secretary, and the date of the annual meeting. Individuals who fail to meet this requirement will be disqualified from election. 

Petitioners must also provide information sufficient for the Corporate Secretary to determine that the petitions are duly executed by the executive representatives of the requisite number of applicable size firm members. In addition, to assist in the process of verifying petitions, FINRA requests that all petitions submitted be dated by their signatory.

Petitions must be submitted no later than Monday, June 22, 2020.

The names of persons obtaining the requisite number of valid petitions will be included on the appropriate proxy mailed to eligible firms in advance of the annual meeting. . .