FINRA board rife with conflicts of interest, new report finds
November 15, 2017 | Ann March | Financial Planning
A new report by a group of securities arbitration attorneys calls into question FINRA’s ability to protect investors given alleged conflicts of interests on its board.
The report was issued Wednesday morning by the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association, whose members represent investors in legal disputes with FINRA member firms. The group raises concerns about five of FINRA’s 13 public governors and one recently departed governor who now sits on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors.
FINRA’s board is comprised of 24 members. Among them, 10 have open industry ties consistent with the nonprofit’s public-private status as a self-regulator of the financial industry. Another 13 seats are designated to public members, intended to represent investors. The remaining seat is for FINRA’s CEO.
I have been in the financial services industry for 20 years and our firm provides an education platform that gets clients to “think differently” about their financial picture. For many years we have communicated to clients the need to diversify their portfolios using alternative asset classes and more specifically, private non-traded investments. Due diligence on these types of financial vehicles is essential and when I learned about Blue Vault in 2010, our firm immediately began using their material as a tool to build confidence in the minds of our advisors on which alternatives to recommend to clients. I am impressed with the way Blue Vault continues to add value to their subscribers and I view their publication as a tremendous resource in today’s complex world.