* Eileen Murray to serve as a public governor beginning in 2016, even though she serves as the co-CEO of the world's largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates.* Shelley Lazarus has served as one of FINRA's public governors since 2013. Lazarus serves on the board of The Blackstone Group, "a leading global alternative asset manager" handling $366.6 billion as of December 31, 2016." The Blackstone Group has multiple FINRA member subsidiaries, including Blackstone Advisory Partners L.P. Lazarus has been an executive at Ogilvy & Mather from 1995 through 2012. She now serves as the Chairman Emeritus of Ogilvy. In 2015, Ogilvy created FINRA's BrokerCheck advertising campaign.* William H. Heyman, currently the chairman of FINRA and called a "public governor" even though he is the Chief Investment Officer of The Travelers Companies, Inc., previously served in the NASD (the predecessor to FINRA) as an "industry governor". Curiously, he has served for the last 14 years on the Board of Governors even though FINRA's bylaws expressly limit "public governors" to two three-year terms.* Carol Anthony Davidson has been a "public governor" since 2013, even though he joined the board of Legg Mason Inc., in 2014. Legg Mason is a global asset management firm and has a FINRA member subsidiary, Legg Mason Investor Services, LLC. Davidson's 14,906 shares give him a more than $500,000 stake in Legg Mason. Davidson serves on at least five corporate boards and six different FINRA Board Committees.* Joshua S. Levine serves as a "public governor" while working as a managing director affiliated with Kita Capital Management, LLC. Levine's LinkedIn profile makes clear that he co-founded Kita Capital Management, LLC and that it provides "capital, operations and advice to technology-driven organizations." Although his current FINRA profile indicates that he has served as a managing director for Kita Capital Management without interruption since 2005, past FINRA Annual Reports characterized him as "retired." The PIABA report notes that inconsistent disclosures raise questions about the quality of FINRA's disclosures and governance.
[S]pecifically, the Associations request that the Commission amend Rule 17a-4(f) to no longer require broker-dealers to implement a "non-rewriteable, non-erasable" or "write once, read many" ("WORM") standard, notify their designated examination authority of their intent to use electronic storage, have an electronic records audit system, and employ a third-party downloader. As described in more detail below, these 20-year old technology-specific rules are obsolete and measurably slowing the pace of securities firms' adoption of communication technologies that investors are using and requesting.In place of those outdated requirements, the Associations propose a rigorous retention standard that is technology-neutral and consistent with current approaches to managing and protecting data. A modernized rule will allow firms to take advantage of the most current information management technologies and more effectively secure regulatory records. This proposal would not otherwise affect the description or types of records required to be retained under the Exchange Act nor inhibit prompt access to such records by the SEC or other self-regulatory organizations.
The Commission brought 754 actions and obtained judgments and orders totaling more than $3.7 billion in disgorgement and penalties. Significantly, it also returned a record $1.07 billion to harmed investors, suspended trading in the securities of 309 companies, and barred or suspended more than 625 individuals.
[T]he loan agreements suggested, for example, that the borrower would pay $30 in interest for $100 borrowed. In truth and in fact, however, MOSELEY structured the repayment schedule of the loans such that, on the borrower's payday, the Hydra Lenders automatically withdrew the entire interest payment due on the loan, but left the principal balance untouched. As a result, on the borrower's next payday, the Hydra Lenders could again automatically withdraw an amount equaling the entire interest payment due (and already paid) on the loan. Under MOSELEY's control and oversight, the Hydra Lenders proceeded automatically to withdraw such "finance charges" payday after payday, applying none of the money toward repayment of principal. Indeed, under the terms of the loan agreement, the Hydra Lenders withdrew finance charges from their customers' accounts unless and until consumers took affirmative action to stop the automatic renewal of the loan.