In the blog I posted yesterday, I discussed a late Xmas present that the 10th Circuit gave everyone who is subject to the SEC’s jurisdiction.  Today, let’s talk about FINRA’s New Year’s gift to its member firms: the annual Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter, which was released this week.  As is typically the

If you’re reading this, then you undoubtedly already know that FINRA and SEC are, simply, AML crazy. Rightly or wrongly, they are both focusing more than ever on broker-dealers’ fulfillment of their supervisory obligation to be sensitive to the laundry list of red flags first articulated in a Notice to Members back in 2002 that

Earlier this year, as part of its 2016 Examination Priorities, FINRA spent a lot time discussing the “culture of compliance” at broker-dealers, the notion that firms need to create an atmosphere where compliance with rules and regulations is more than just lip service, but, rather, where it is a priority established by firm management –

Two years ago, FINRA first proposed to the SEC a rule that would require brokers to disclose to clients not only when they receive compensation (including signing bonuses and other payments) to switch from one broker-dealer to another, but, worse, the amount of that compensation. The industry was seriously not pleased with the rule.  FINRA,

The Rick Ketchum Show. Today’s sessions opened with what was likely the highlight of the entire conference, Rick Ketchum’s swan song “conversation” with Ira Hammerman, GC of SIFMA, before he toddles off into retirement. Granted, these interviews never remotely approach Sixty Minutes intensity, but this year’s featured even more coddling than ever:

  • What would

For some reason, a bunch of noteworthy events all happened around the same time this week, so please bear with me as I vent a little about them.  Individually, they are irritating; in the aggregate, they are borderline alarming.

First, the FINRA Wells process. I have blogged about this before, and how, in a

By now you have probably read FINRA’s recent “Targeted Exam Letter” entitled “Establishing, Communicating and Implementing Cultural Values.”  In case you haven’t, it is clear that FINRA is following up on the promise it made in January in the 2016 Regulatory & Examination Priorities Letter to “formalize [its] assessment of firm culture while

In Homer’s epic poem the Odyssey, Odysseus and the crew of his ship are faced with the impossible choice of either sailing closer to Charybdis, a whirlpool capable of sinking their entire ship, or, alternatively, to Scylla, a sea monster just as deadly.  Odysseus’ dilemma sprang to mind as I listened to a presentation

Yesterday, FINRA released its annual Examination Priorities Letter in which it set forth the top issues that would guide its examinations in the coming year. Running 13 pages in length (while complaining about having to be so “brief”), FINRA set forth some of the “many areas of potential concern” it expects to encounter this year.

I posted several blogs this summer about our victory over the SEC in the Robare case (which, naturally, has been appealed by the SEC’s unhappy Division of Enforcement). One of the key elements in our ability to prevail in that matter was my client’s extensive use of outside securities consultants to assist in the preparation