Order Routing

Order Routing and The Price of Non-Disclosure

In May of this year, the SEC fined Bloomberg Tradebook LLC for $5 million, censured the firm, and issued a cease and desist order for misleading customers about how their orders were routed. Specifically, the SEC found that the Firm made material misrepresentations in regard to order routing. They omitted material facts about how they handled certain customer trade orders.

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FINRA Rule 3210

FINRA Rule 3210: Accounts At Other Financial Institutions

On April 3, 2017, FINRA Rule 3210 for Accounts At Other Broker-Dealers and Financial Institutions officially replaced NASD Rule 3050, Transactions for or by Associated Persons. In summary, FINRA Rule 3210 requires prior notification by an associated person to their member firm before they establish an account at another financial institution. Accounts include any securities transactions in which the Associated Person has a financial interest or with respect to which such person had discretionary authority. Read More…

Compliance Program

Tools to Conquer Compliance Program Challenges

Compliance responsibilities grow with every passing year. New regulatory mandates, examination priorities, trends in regulatory enforcements, changes in business, personnel changes, adding new business lines. These are only a few of the many considerations of which compliance professionals must be aware in order to run an effective compliance program amidst the ever-evolving landscape. Read More…

Supervisory Control

Supervisory Control: The Basics of Rule 3120

Most broker-dealers are aware of their annual requirement to test and document their firm’s compliance program. But, the question remains if firms are meeting the full requirements of the rule. Below are the basics of the former NASD Rule 3012, now FINRA Rule 3120, for establishing and maintaining a system of supervisory control. Read More…


Supervision of Supervisory Personnel

FINRA Rule 3110 provides the requirements for building and maintaining a supervisory structure that is in compliance with rules and regulations. Among other requirements, this rule addresses the documentation and supervision of supervisory personnel in 3110(b)(6). What is FINRA Rule 3110(b)(6)? Rule 3110(b)(6) requires firms to document supervisory functions and responsibilities of each registered supervisory Read more about Supervision of Supervisory Personnel[…]

Outside Business Activity

Challenges with Outside Business Activity Disclosures

An outside business activity (“OBA”) is defined as a registered person having any business activity outside the scope of the relationship with their member firm. As defined in FINRA Rule 3270, this may include acting as an employee, independent contractor, sole proprietor, officer, director, or partner for any other entities besides the member firm. Generally, the activity may also involve compensation or a reasonable expectation of compensation.

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Compliance program

Why Small Firms Need Compliance Program Assessments

With the rise in new regulations, small firms generally experience some of the greatest challenges evolving their business to meet these new demands. Critical focus areas constantly expand related to cybersecurity, senior investor protection, supervisory controls, succession planning, and human capital. With this in mind, small firms need to ensure that they have a solid foundation in place for their compliance program. But why is it important for small firms especially to perform occasional assessments of their compliance efforts?

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Outsourced Vendors

Best Practices for Outsourced Vendors

Does your firm know who its key outsourced vendors are? Does your firm perform ongoing due diligence that includes an assessment of risks? The answers to both questions may involve a huge undertaking for small firms that have limited resources. Read More…

AML and Branch Audits

AML and Branch Audits in the Time of COVID-19

At the beginning of the year, FINRA released important updates related to supervision requirements for broker-dealers. As broker-dealers and their employees started experiencing various work-from-home, virtual meeting, and operations challenges, FINRA provided valuable guidance for the transition in a FAQ related to the coronavirus pandemic. Below are a few items where FINRA has provided areas Read more about AML and Branch Audits in the Time of COVID-19[…]