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‘Dissident’ Candidate Elected to FINRA Board

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Securities attorney Brian Kovack who ran what he called a “dissident campaign” is one of three new elected governors to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Board of Governors.

Brian Kovack, the co-founder and president of Kovack Securities in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, will represent midsize firms on the FINRA Board. Also elected were Joe Ramano, president of Romano Wealth Management in Edmond, Oklahoma, to represent small firms, and John Thiel, who heads Merrill Lynch Wealth Management in New York, to represent large firms.

In addition, two new governors were appointed by FINRA to the board: Kathleen Murphy, president of personal investing at Fidelity Investments, and Randal Quarles, managing partner and co-founder of the Cynosure Group, a private equity company based in Salt Lake City. Murphy was selected as an industry board governor; Quarles as a public governor.  

FINRA governors serve three-year terms and cannot serve more than two consecutive terms. The board has 24 members: 13 public governors; 10 industry governors; and the FINRA CEO, Richard Ketchum, who serves as chairman.

In a statement issued after the election, Ketchum congratulated the newly elected governors for bringing “valuable perspectives and a keen understanding of the securities industry.” He welcomed the two appointed governors and noted that their experience and expertise will help FINRA move ahead with its mission to protect the investing public and ensure the integrity of the markets.

Kovack defeated John Muschalek, vice chairman of First Southwest Co., who was backed by FINRA. Kovack had the support of Financial Services Institute.

He campaigned on the need for immediate reforms to FINRA’s arbitration process, exams and U4 disclosures. Kovack told ThinkAdvisor previously that he was concerned about the number of frivolous claims in the arbitration process and the amount of information that advisors must disclosure on the U4 registration forms, which form the basis of FINRA’s BrokerCheck database.

Kovack and Dale Brown, president and CEO of FSI, were not available for comment.

— Check out ‘Dissident’ Candidate Vies for FINRA Board Seat on ThinkAdvisor.