Articles Posted in FINRA

Frank H. Black and his Firm Southeast Investments NC failed to comply with applicable securities laws by retaining business related emails and to establish, maintain and enforce, supervisory systems.

Southeast Investments N.C. which was established in 1997 and has close to 130 registered representatives, according to FINRA. Forty percent of the firm’s revenues are from sale of variable annuities; 40% from mutual funds; and most of the remaining 20% from real estate investment trusts, according to the FINRA panel.

September 2012, FINRA requested documentation records for Southeast Investments’ branch office inspections.  Mr. Black produced a three-page inspections calendar, listing 43 branch offices that he claimed he inspected between March 2010 and August 2012.

FINRA has made brokerage firm “culture” one of its top priorities for 2016. FINRA refers to “culture” as how management sets the bar for the firm and how culture effects their brokers interaction with clients and their business. According to FINRA, firm culture has a profound influence on how a broker-dealer conducts its business, including how it manages conflicts of interest. This is a new area FINRA is trying to investigate.

One way FINRA is looking into culture is to see if there are any forms of payments and commissions that could affect an employees behavior. FINRA is reaching out to the industry by seeing where firms stand versus enforcing strict “culture” rules on how a brokerage firm must act. Recently, FINRA sent more than a dozen firms 8 questions regarding their firms “culture.” The questions were the following:

” 1. A summary of the key policies and processes by which the firm establishes cultural values. In the summary, include whether this is a board-level function at your broker-dealer or at the corporate parent of the firm. If it is a board-level function, describe the board’s involvement. Also, provide a description of any steps you have initiated or completed in the past 24 months to promote, strengthen or change your firm’s culture.