Outside FINRA offices in New York Outside FINRA offices in New York. (Photo: Ronald Pechtimaldjian)

Jim Nagengast, CEO of Securities America, and Shelley O’Connor, managing director and co-head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, are in the running to fill the large firm governor’s seat on the board of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Large firms that are members of FINRA as of the close of business on June 8 are eligible to vote in the election. The self-regulator plans to elect Nagengast or O’Connor on June 28.

The Financial Services Institute officially endorsed Nagengast on Wednesday, with Dale Brown, FSI’s president and CEO, stating that Nagengast “has been a highly visible leader in our industry, at FSI and in his community, providing insights and expertise on the future of the financial advice space, and through his extensive charitable work.”

Nagengast, who joined Securities America in 1994 and became CEO in 2010, added in the statement that he’s “grateful to FSI for its endorsement of my candidacy, which reflects the focus and passion I share with its member firms for serving Main Street, Middle America investors and the financial advisors across the country who support them.”

Nagengast told ThinkAdvisor in a Wednesday email that he’s running for the open Large Firm seat “to give voice to the concerns and interests of independent, bank- and insurance-owned firms.”

It’s crucial, he continued, “for FINRA to have a board that is committed to making it easier for everyone across the country to have access to high quality, professional financial guidance, not just the high-net-worth investors in major metropolitan areas.”

The “key issues” FINRA needs to focus on “are continuing make progress in enhancing transparency, especially around the rulemaking process, while promoting greater industry diversity,” he added.

O’Connor, who’s also chairwoman of Morgan Stanley Private Bank, is a member of the Morgan Stanley Operating Committee.

During her 30-year career at Morgan Stanley, O’Connor has held a succession of senior leadership positions, including head of field management for wealth management, with responsibility for the firm’s network of approximately 600 branches and 16,000 advisors, and as CEO of Morgan Stanley Private Bank.

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