Broker-Dealer Advisory & Counseling

  • Representing a broker-dealer in a FINRA investigation and enforcement action relating to mutual fund sales practices.
  • Reviewing and negotiating clearing and related agreements between client broker-dealers and clearing firms.
  • Reviewing and counseling broker-dealers on electronic record-keeping of transactional and financial records, including WORM compliance.
  • Preparing a FINRA continuing membership application relating to a client’s consolidation of affiliated broker-dealers.
  • Assisting a broker-dealer in a FINRA inquiry regarding fixed income pricing, mark-ups, and best execution.
  • Assisting broker-dealer clients with regulatory examinations and investigations.
  • Advising broker-dealers on various aspects of their electronic trading platforms.
  • Advising a broker-dealer in connection with its electronic blue sheet submissions to regulators.

Looking Forward

Major priorities of the securities regulators in 2018 will be firm culture, cybersecurity, market structure, conflicts of interest related to order routing and best execution, and promoting capital growth. The SEC has announced it plans to adopt a broker-dealer fiduciary rule this year. The SEC also recently established the Retail Strategy Task Force, which will use proactive, targeted initiatives to identify misconduct impacting retail investors (particularly senior investors). The SEC and FINRA will accelerate their efforts to use and rely on Big Data analytics to surveil the markets and identify market abuse, whether it be insider trading and manipulative conduct or sales practices such as the sale of unsuitable structured products or microcap pump-and-dump schemes. The regulators will continue their focus on required recordkeeping by broker-dealers (including WORM storage), supervision, and conflicts of interest and how firms remediate conflicts.