Broker- Dealer Law Corner

I am hardly saying that SEC Regulation S-P is the sexiest of regulations. I mean, has any customer is history actually read one of those exciting statement stuffers that discloses in some dense font a BD’s privacy policy? Likely not, but, nevertheless, it remains that in this day and age, with hacking and phishing and cybersecurity a part of the everyday vernacular, Reg S-P is something that BDs cannot afford to be even slightly unfamiliar…
FINRA came out with a slightly weird Regulatory Notice last week. In a succinct document, barely over two pages, FINRA addressed something that may, or may not, actually be of concern to anyone. In short, Regulatory Notice 19-10 states FINRA’s position on what a broker-dealer is supposed to tell the customers of a registered representative who “departs” the firm…at least those customers who bother to ask. According to FINRA, the reason it has chosen to…
I have been busy the last month getting ready for a big arbitration, and attending the first week of what looks like is going to be a four- or five-week slog when all is said and done. So, I am just catching up on some recent developments, and mulling over what might be of interest to readers of this blog. I debated discussing the arbitration itself, and some of its more surreal moments, but I…
If you are a regular reader of this blog, then you know that over my last few posts, I have been talking about an increasingly visible effort by FINRA to turn its regulatory eye from rogue brokers – who have been an irritant to FINRA and NASD for decades – to rogue firms (my term, not FINRA’s).  It started off with a the casual dropping of an odd phrase – “high-risk firms” – in an…
I told you two weeks ago in my blog post that this would happen. I told you that when Robert Cook announced the topics to be taken up at the February/March FINRA Board meeting in Boca Raton, he slipped and used the new phrase “high-risk firms.” Well, in yesterday’s announcement about what actually took place at that meeting, all mystery has been removed about FINRA’s intent. Indeed, it is now undisputable that FINRA is expanding…
My partner, Ken Berg, writes about his recent meeting with the NCLA, a group that anyone who has an administrative practice should be familiar with.  –  Alan I had the privilege of being invited to attend in Washington, D.C., on February 28, 2019, the inaugural panel discussion hosted by a relatively new nonprofit civil rights organization, the New Civil Liberties Alliance (“NCLA”). What distinguishes NCLA from most civil rights organizations is that it represents business…
Yesterday, FINRA sent a seemingly innocuous memo to member firms giving a brief outline of the subjects that its Board will take up at its meeting this week in sunny Boca Raton, Florida. (Wait, the Board isn’t meeting in Washington, as it normally does, but, rather, in south Florida? Oh, right, it’s February. Much better chance of securing full attendance.) Buried in the brief message from President and CEO Robert Cook was this sentence: “The…
Yesterday, two of my colleagues here at Ulmer, Fran Goins and Michael Hoenig, published an article in @BLaw Insight in response to a recent report by FINRA outlining the best practices for BDs to deal with cyber threats.  Since this is undoubtedly a subject of considerable interest to many of you, I wanted to share it right away.  Click here to link to their excellent article.  – Alan…
I have been waiting for a while to write about this issue, since it arose in an Enforcement case I handled for a client, and I wanted the matter to run its full course at FINRA before I started throwing stones. Sadly, there are so many things I could complain about here. The fact that the entire case derived from my client’s supposed failure to abide by interim restrictions that FINRA imposed in connection with…
Does FINRA have jurisdiction over me? This is a question that I regularly field at the outset of regulatory engagements. My answer differs depending on a number of factors, including the nature of a person’s role and duties at a firm, his or her registration status, when the alleged misconduct occurred, whether he or she is still associated with a firm, and when the association ended. This post outlines some of the basics on FINRA’s…