President, Chief Compliance Officer
American Wealth Management, Inc.
I, Jerry Borzello, over the years served as registered representative, partner, branch manager, and owner of a small broker. I started American Wealth Management, Inc. (AWM) in 1990. AWM is a full service broker/dealer and a registered investment advisory firm. I currently function as CEO, Execution Representative, CCO, FINOP, and Options Compliance Officer. My experience has exposed me to a thorough insight into the problems confronted by a small broker dealer, from sales assistant to President/Owner. I have over 37 years experience in the industry and I would like the opportunity to represent all the small firms in District 7.
I am running for the district 7 Small Firm Representative because it is important to me that the small firm is represented by someone who knows about the regulatory burden small firms are faced with today in the over regulated society.
It is important that all the firms in District 7 have a voice that can reach the regulatory centers and who understand the state of our industry. Firms want someone with the experience and the mission to preserve our small firms that at times may be overburdened by minor compliance oversight but deliver services of honorable value. The quality of service is key in an environment where callous acts of deception and outright fraud go unnoticed, or ignored until millions of dollars of investors money are cheated with the end result of these felonious crimes handled as mere disciplinary actions with a relative slap on the wrist fines, followed by the reward to continue operations. At the same time many small firms of good intentions are often run out of the business due often to either fabricate arbitration suites many times brought on by investor neglect or receive severe penalties for minor infractions often caused from misguidance or over interpretation of vague written rules and feedback. This is why we need a strong and motivated voice to bridge the differences between the regulations and small firms. Someone who seeks out common sense solutions to insure the stability of the small business man. Your vote is appreciated.
Intercarolina Financial Services, Inc.
31 years as a Registered Broker, 25 years as Registered Principal (General Securities, Municipal Bonds) Co Founder of Intercarolina Financial Services (1987) began with 2 brokers now at 52. Elected the first President of the North Carolina Association of Securities Dealers, an organization founded to bring B/D's together on matters of compliance and dealing with the public. Organized meetings with regulators to promote cooperation in areas affecting the securities industry. Have worked in every area of the business from Broker to back office, negotiating with clearing firms, Reconciling blotter, placing orders, Municipal Bonds, writing supervisory procedures, conducting broker reviews, Branch reviews, Office reviews, AML, organizing Continuing Education and Annual compliance meetings, and all other aspects of brokerage firm operations.
In addition I have worked within the NASD/ FINRA from the rollout of the CRD online, from paper to electronic, AML requirements and the joining of the NYSE/NASD creating FINRA.
As the increase of regulations and requirements levied upon the financial industry has grown small firms have borne the brunt of the burden of meeting those demands.
We are MEMBERS of FINRA. Each year we pay our dues, but many feel our voice is not heard. Our concerns seem to take a backseat to the larger firms. As we know, the Small firms are the firms that meet the needs of the average investor, serving those whom the large firms do not want because of the size of their accounts. We provide a service to Middle America. I am running because I believe we need a steady and strong voice for the Small Firms, to express our concerns with regulations, bringing common sense to the table, finding solutions which meet the requirements at the same time allowing us to service our customers without an undo burden in added cost and personnel.
In addition, I believe we need to present to those WE pay, ways in which they may be of SERVICE to us in answering our questions and providing advice as to how we all can better service our customers with in the rules and regulations. I want to ask the questions you want answered.
Patrick Sheehan has over 20 years of experience in the Financial Services industry having worked at First Union, Greenwich Capital and Deutsche Bank prior to founding Elevation. Mr Sheehan has extensive experience in global Fixed Income, Equity and Rate markets.
I believe Small District Firms need representation on the District Committee from firms like ours. We serve a unique niche in the market as a small firm that deals with institutional clients across liquid asset classes. Our depth of product knowledge and passion for markets while providing quality customer service makes us uniquely positioned to provide insight and guidance to the District that would benefit all small firms in the District. As financial services continue to experience radical change, I believe that small firms need clear, articulate voices on the District Committee to ensure that we remain viable and important firms within the current and future regulatory structure. It is vital to the entire financial system that our customers have a choice with smaller firms that are truly customer focused.
Virginia L. Voos
Chief Compliance Officer
Bridge Capital Associates, Inc.
Ms. Voos serves a Chief Compliance Officer for Bridge Capital Associates, Inc., a middle market investment banking firm based in Atlanta, GA. She is also a Senior Consultant for B/D Compliance Associates, Inc., providing FINRA and SEC compliance consulting to both existing FINRA member firms and new member applicants. She has served as Chief Compliance Officer and Financial and Operations Principal for several other small firms over the past nine years. She started her career in financial services in 2001 as an operations manager for a $60 million hedge fund. She is a member of the National Society of Compliance Professionals, Association for Corporate Growth and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. She has also achieved the Certified Fraud Examiner credential. She holds the FINRA Series 7, 24, 28, 63, 79 and 99 registrations.
As CCO, FINOP and regulatory consultant to FINRA member firms, I am deeply involved on a daily basis in a broad variety of regulatory matters that concern the small firm community. I understand the impact that the current regulatory challenges have on FINRA members. As a self-regulatory organization, members have an obligation and responsibility to be involved in the rule-making process. If elected, I would work as an advocate for District 7 members to facilitate the that process in a manner that is effective and sensitive to the business needs of member firms but also accomplishes investor protection.
Ruth A. Burgess
Chief Compliance Officer/Sr. Vice President
Invest Financial Corporation
I have worked in the securities industry since 1972 in most every department except financial/accounting and trading desks. I started specializing in compliance with a small NASD dealer, then Robert W. Baird, a NYSE dealer, then a bank owned broker dealer and now with an independent broker dealer so have experience in most facets of the industry, including insurance related broker dealers. I have been a representative on the the District 7 Committee since 2008. Before that I served on the NASD/NYSE Series 7 Item Writing Committee and the NYSE/NASD Continuing Education Content Committee. I was an early member of the NSCP and work closely with BISA compliance committees.
I feel I bring a wide breadth of experience and information to FINRA regarding the realities of the day-to-day issues of broker/dealers. Although Invest is classified as a large broker/dealer, we are small enough to still have close contact with our Representatives and are senstive to their needs as well as the needs of the investing public and our regulators. I would like to represent those needs and issues at the District level and assist the various FINRA participants to understand the practical ramifications of various rule proposals.
I have a deep love of our industry and want to do everything possible to help us regain the respect and integrity that we previously enjoyed. We have a lot of work to do in that arena.
EVP, Business Risk Management, GRC
I am EVP, Business Risk Management for LPL Financial Governance, Risk and Compliance unit. I have responsibility for risk & compliance functions related to advisors, sponsors & product developers. Specifically, I have oversight of advisor review functions, home office supervision, product & platform due diligence & trading compliance; with 25 years of financial services & risk management experience. Prior to joining LPL, I worked 17 years at Bank of America, previously Merrill Lynch, most recently as Managing Director, Head of Risk Management & Compliance for Wealth Management & Co-Chief Compliance Officer for Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith. I managed policies/procedures, training, regulatory initiatives/inquiries, branch examinations, IA testing, surveillance, compliance advice & guidance functions for Wealth Management. Prior to joining the Compliance Department at Merrill Lynch as the Head of Global Private Client Compliance, I held various positions in the Corporate Audit Department from 1997-2005, including Director of Global Private Client Audit. I joined Merrill Lynch in 1992 as Manager of Accounting Policies in Corporate Reporting Dept. I was an Audit Manager, specializing in Financial Services at Ernst & Young; graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree, Accounting at University of Virginia in 1987. I served on SIFMA's Regulatory & Compliance Committee from 2005-2007 & have been a panelist at several industry conferences.
Given my responsibilities I'm very engaged in the interpretation & implementation of new & changing FINRA rules & currently interact with industry colleagues and regulatory contacts to do this. I would like the opportunity to play a more active role in the early stages of FINRA policy & rule changes. I believe that with my background, I have a good understanding of regulatory objectives, can objectively balance this with practical considerations, identify reasonable approaches & solutions as rules and policy changes are crafted. I also believe that with the many years I spent at a large traditional firm combined with my more recent experiences, currently at a firm with an independent model, I can provide valuable insights into the challenges and issues facing both types of firms. As many of my firm's advisors come from various types of firms themselves, I have developed a broader appreciation for the challenges other firms face as well. I also have a significant amount of experience in the intersection of brokerage and advisory platforms & with this can provide insight and expertise as FINRA continues to work with other regulators on addressing fiduciary issues. Finally, I believe that through my relationships with others in the industry, I can work to gain broader insights to bring into the District Committee discussions & also work to assist in the education of other firms. Overall, I would truly appreciate the opportunity to serve the industry in this important role.
Supervision Manager, Vice President
Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.
I have more than 14 years of extensive experience in the financial services sector. My background includes: Audit, Compliance, Rules and Regulations, Supervision and Risk Management. I joined First Union Securities in 1998 as a Registered Sales Representative. Since then, I've served in various roles and capacities with Wells Fargo Advisors such as: Retail Investment Group Manager, Compliance Officer, and Central Supervision Manager.
Currently I'm the Northeast Supervision Manager at Wells Fargo Advisors. My responsibilities include: oversight of Regional Branch Supervisors (centrally and offsite) who provide sales supervision on behalf of the Regional Brokerage Managers to ensure advisors comply with SEC, FINRA and Firm rules and regulations; involved in compliance examinations and internal audits; provides education and training; and assists business units with enhancing risk reporting, controls and trend analysis to help reduce regulatory risk.
My work and dedication to my responsibilities with the Firm has resulted in successful audit ratings on not only my department's compliance examinations, but the channel's internal audits.
I hold a BA degree in Business Administration from Westminster College in Pennsylvania. I've attained the Series 7, Series 9, Series 10, Series 6, Series 63, and Series 31 licenses. In the spring of 2013, I will begin working towards my Certified Internal Audit Certification at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
The major quailities that I present include my experience and perspective, and the importance of communication of policies and Firm responsibilities. My current role allows me to identify trends from two perspectives; centrally and from "in market". Having direct reports centrally who are responsible for providing sales oversight of our Financial Advisors, as well as having direct reports in the field who are responsible for the compliance and audit practices is a benefit. This allows me to identify trends, thus giving me a better understanding of the issues at hand and enables me to develop solutions/controls to address items in a more efficient and timely manner.
The communication between the Firm and FINRA is critical, specific to education, controls, policies, reducing risk, trends, and the sharing of information. Over the last six years, I have been actively involved in internal audits, examinations and our policies and procedures. My commitment to Firm involvement and to open communication between lines of businesses will positively impact both FINRA and the Firm, from a risk and audit/compliance perspective.
These are the reasons why I have decided to run for the FINRA District Committee, why Firms should vote for me and most importantly, the benefits of having me on committee.
Chief Compliance Officer
Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.
I am the Senior Vice President/Chief Compliance Officer of Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. (RJFS), having joined the firm in 1993 as a Senior Compliance Advisor, and ultimately working as a Regional Compliance Officer and the Associate Director of Compliance. I have been actively involved in numerous industry associations and currently serve on the FINRA Membership Committee. I previously served on the FINRA District 7 Committee, the FINRA Compliance Resources and Education Committee, the FINRA Books and Records Task Force, and the NASD's Licensing and Registrations Council. I currently participate in the SIFMA Compliance and Legal Division Regional Firms Committee, and prior committee positions include the FSI Compliance Advisory Council, the SIFMA State Regulation and Legislation Committee, and the SIFMA Self-Regulation and Supervisory Practices Committee. I am a Registered Options Principal and a Registered Municipal Securities Principal, currently holding a Series 7, 24, 53, 4, 63, 65, and I also previously obtained the Florida Life and Health insurance license. I serve as a FINRA arbitrator, and have a Bachelor of Science degree, double-majoring in Economics and Finance, from the University of South Florida. I also completed the Securities Industry Institute (sponsored by SIFMA in conjunction with the Wharton School of Business) in 2004. Prior to joining RJFS, I was a Financial Advisor with A.G. Edwards.
With over twenty years of industry experience, working the range from a financial advisor to a Chief Compliance Officer, I understand the need for appropriately-balanced regulatory efforts. I've devoted thousands of hours of personal time advocating for our industry through active involvement in SIFMA (previously SIA), committee positions in FSI (previously IAFP and FPA), NASAA involvement, and personal service on a number of FINRA committees. I regularly meet with industry peers to seek their input on current issues, and I have not been shy to speak my mind with all of our regulators, and legislators, about what is important to the success of our firms. I have an appreciation for consumer protection and maintenance of the integrity of our industry, but I also make clear the need to protect those working hard to provide our valuable services to the investing public. I look forward to the opportunity to build upon my past efforts, utilizing the many relationships established over the years, to further ensure that our regulatory future is more appropriately structured to provide a level playing field with our competition, while also protecting the success of both our clients and our industry.