Four new members were elected to the FINRA Board o Governors today: LPL Chairman and CEO, Mark Casady, took over the Independent Dealer/Insurance Affiliate seat from John Simmers, former Chairman and CEO of ING Advisors Network, who stepped down from that position on April 16.
Meanwhile, Seth Waugh, CEO of Deustche Bank Americas and James D. Weddle, managing partner of Edward Jones, replace Robert McCann, former president of Merrill Lynch’s global wealth management group, and Thomas Russo, former Vice Chairman of the now defunct Lehman Brothers. James F. Duffy, Interim CEO of NYSE Regulation has taken over the seat held by Richard Ketchum before he became CEO of the NYSE in March. Ketchum remains Chairman of the Board of Governors.
“Certainly the reputations of at least Merrill and Lehman took major hits the past year and the removal of that legacy from FINRA's Board may well be welcomed by the regulator,” said Bill Singer, the publisher of RRBDLAW.com and BrokerAndBroker.com and a contributor to the Registered Rep. in an email. “Nonetheless, the public has little confidence in the integrity of Wall Street these days and the very nature of self-regulation and FINRA's role in failing to detect many high profile frauds has certainly brought unwanted critique to the SRO.”
Small firms have long sought greater representation on the FINRA board, as some of them they claim they get bullied by the regulator. Singer said he thought that the seating of Waugh, Weddle and Casady could bring some positive attention to FINRA. But “the fault lines in the FINRA community have been growing further apart for nearly a decade, as smaller and larger member firms pursued (and still pursue) markedly different visions and business plans,” he wrote. “I would hope that Casady would act in a mediating role between large and small FINRA firms given his firm's status as the 800 pound independent broker-dealer within the FINRA community.”
FINRA is overseen by a 23-person Board of Governors, with 11 seats held by Public Governors and 10 by Industry Governors. Below is a list of the other seven industry members of the FINRA Board of Governors:
John J. Brennan, Chairman, The Vanguard Group, Malvern, PA
Richard F. Brueckner, Chairman and CEO, Pershing, Jersey City, NJ
Mari Buechner, CEO and Chief Compliance Officer, Coordinated Capital Securities, Madison, WI
John F. X. Dolan, CEO, Kellogg Specialist Group, Stowe, VT
W. Dennis Ferguson, President, Sterne, Agee & Leach, Boca Raton, FL
G. Donald Steel, President and CEO, Planned Investment Company, Indianapolis, IN
Duncan F. Williams, President and CEO, Duncan - Williams, Memphis, TN
Correction: An earlier version of this story stated that, “Singer said he thought that the seating of Waugh, Weddle and Casady could bring some positive attention to FINRA, considering they represent smaller regional and boutique firms.” While LPL and Edward Jones are smaller in terms of assets than Merrill Lynch and (former) Lehman Brothers, this does not correctly describe Singer's position on the changes in the board.