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

The Financial Services Institute, an advocacy group for independent broker-dealers and advisors, says it is supporting ProEquities President and CEO Chris Flint for a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority board seat. Flint also has been endorsed by the Bank Insurance & Securities Association (BISA).

Flint received enough petition signatures from FINRA large firms to be included on the official ballot, FSI adds. The election process ends Aug. 19. 

According to a FINRA ballot, the other candidate for the board seat is Andrew Duff, who sits on the board of directors of Piper Jaffray and Co., and formerly was chairman, CEO and president of the firm.

“We are very pleased to endorse Chris Flint for the FINRA board. Chris combines a new level of energy and fresh perspectives with extensive experience developed over 23 years, thriving across nearly all functions of the financial services profession, including both retail financial advice and capital markets,” said FSI President and CEO Dale Brown, in a statement.

As for BISA, it is supporting Flint thanks to his “promise to provide a voice and objective representation for financial-advice focused firms and a level playing field between broker-dealers and RIAs [which] is in the best interest of both BISA members and the financial services industry,” according to Jim Nonnengard, president of BISA and of Regions Investment Services.

Flint’s Focus

Prior to joining ProEquities in 2015, Flint was president of Lincoln Financial Securities and the head of Lincoln Financial Network’s advisor recruitment and acquisition strategies; he also was a senior vice president at IBD Securities America and the managing director of Securities America Wealth Management Group.

“Throughout my career working with independent, wirehouse, credit union and insurance-owned broker-dealers, I have heard colleagues lament the under-representation of their firms on the FINRA Board. I will focus on changing this, and I will leverage what I’ve learned throughout the course of my career to do so,” Flint said in a statement.

Among his main objectives are “ending rulemaking by enforcement, enhancing transparency and making it easier for firms to work with our primary regulator” rather than “operating under the looming fear of retroactive enforcement,” he explained.

In addition, Flint said, “There continues to be an erroneous perception that firms that primarily or exclusively focus on retail financial advice lack sophistication and strategic depth. To counter this bias, the FINRA board must include members who recognize the criticality of this segment that serves an ever-growing share of U.S. investors.”

“With the passage of [Regulation Best Interest], there is an unprecedented opportunity to drive greater alignment across the industry,” he added in a statement.

A year ago, FSI endorsed Securities America CEO Jim Nagengast for a FINRA board seat. Nagengast went on to collect more votes than Shelley O’Connor, then managing director and co-head of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management.