2013 FINRA District Committee Election Candidate Profiles – District 3

 

Small Firm Representative Candidates

 

Ronald Olexsak
Chief Compliance Officer
Thornburg Securities Corporation

 

Biography

I think I am qualified to serve on the district committee because of the many activities I have participated in throughout my career. In addition to earning an MBA and the Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional designation from the FINRA Institute at Wharton, I have served on a number of teams or groups tasked with developing company or department mission statements, charitable projects, and employee support programs. All of these activities require collaboration and respecting a variety of voices, backgrounds, and experiences.

 

I look forward to the opportunity to meet with firm representatives as we attempt to shape policy and issues to the needs of the District and our small firms. I have been a frequent speaker and trainer within every firm I have worked for and served on an industry panels during a Compliance Conference. As such I am not afraid to engage a group and make sure the issues that need to be discussed are aired and given their proper consideration. I hope to have an opportunity to interact with many of you in the district and others across the country. 

Statement
I have worked for a large firm with thousands of Registered Representatives and now serve as CCO of a small firm with 135. Working for a dually-registered firm allows me to see the regulatory landscape that both advisors and broker/dealers face and provides an interesting context for discussions on the challenges that firms in our region face. We are away from the 'buzz' of Wall Street but still provide valuable asset management services to clients in our region and that includes the need to be responsible stewards of their money and trust. I understand and respect the need to treat clients fairly while also providing a workplace environment where employees can understand and follow the laws, rules, and regulations that govern their employment.

 

FINRA rules and enforcement cannot and should not be cookie cutter and small firms have a huge stake in the industry's responsibility to design, implement, and monitor effective compliance programs. I want to have a roll in that process and be a voice where small firms can feel represented and appreciated.


Website: http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronolexsak
 


 

Alexis Vanden Bos
CCO
E.K. Riley Investments, LLC

 

Biography

Riding the bus to downtown Seattle at 17 years old, I saw an electronic sign hanging off the corner of a building lit up showing the current Dow Jones Average. I watched the number changing having no idea what it meant and said to myself: "I want to understand what that means and I want to do that."

 

A few years later, I found a job as a receptionist for a broker-dealer. I was promised I would never be bored and could never learn it all. I took that as a challenge and within 18 months had passed my Series 7, my general principal, FINOP and registered options principal exams. I went on to develop and supervise operation and compliance departments for several firms. I have interacted with regulators and handled client conflict resolution for extensive periods during my time in the industry. I have worked as a FINOP and also as a registered rep in sales. I am currently the Chief Compliance Officer for E.K. Riley Investments, LLC in Seattle, Washington.

 

It's over 30 years later and I still have a passion for our industry. I work hard, have yet to be bored and haven't learned everything. I want to see this industry continue to grow and work for both the customers and the firms.

 

Although I have done substantial volunteer work in my community, after a broad career in the securities industry it would be a privilege to serve on the District Committee.

 

Please vote for me.

Statement
Having had the opportunity to work in sales, on a trading desk, customer service, various areas in operations, supervision and compliance, it has given me the foundation to have a larger picture view of the securities industry. A larger picture view of how a seemly positive change in a regulation can have a major unintentional consequence on a firm; especially a smaller firm.

 

I have had extensive customer interaction. I've listened to their concerns. I've been through numerous regulatory audits. I've heard the regulator's viewpoints.  I hear the concerns of our sales associates, operations and the desires of executive management. I believe I can add a perspective and a voice that integrates all of these areas. I have the ability to analyze, speak up and question. 

 

I have stayed in this industry because I love it. I want to continue to love it. It's important that firms are heard. I want to be one of those voices who can hopefully make an impact. As the Chief Compliance Officer and member of our firm's Executive Committee, I believe I am an excellent choice because I am able to deal with complex situations with insight, clarity and a bit of humor.

 

Again, I am asking for your vote. I want to see our industry run cleanly but not oppressively.
 

Website: http://www.linkedin.com/in/alexisvandenbos/

 


Large Firm Representative Candidates

 

Bernard A. Breton
VP & Chief Compliance Officer
Cetera Advisors LLC

 

Biography

My experience in securities and financial services industry spans the past 25 years. For the past seven, I have been serving as Chief Compliance Officer of Cetera Advisors LLC, an independent broker-dealer and registered advisor. My position allows me to work closely with management, advisors and regulatory bodies to ensure the maintenance of a focused compliance program. I also interact on a daily basis with other departments of the firm including supervision, marketing and risk management. I also play a key role in the development and implementation of the firm's compliance policies and procedures.

 

I previously served as Chief Compliance Officer for Carillon Investments, Inc., and Union Central Life Insurance Company's separate accounts area. I have also been affiliated with MetLife and AXA in managerial compliance roles.

 

I am a former member of the Financial Services Institute's Compliance Council. I graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor of science degree in economics and an MBA with a major in finance, both from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. I also hold the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation and have the Series 7, 24, 63 and 65 securities registrations.  

Statement
My extensive experience in the compliance field has provided me the opportunity to witness, review and evaluate experiences in the compliance field has provided me the opportunity to witness, review and evaluate the impact of new regulations on members of the public, the registered representative and the broker-dealer. I work on a daily basis with a large number of representatives regarding the integration of regulatory and compliance requirements in their practice and dealings with clients. It is important to ensure that regulations are properly constructed to achieve their objectives in a practical and balanced manner. This is a vital role of the Committee and my ability to properly evaluate the proper and delicate balance between compliance and business needs will be an asset.

 

My experience and involvement in compliance, risk management, operations, regulatory reporting and regulatory examinations will be of benefit to the Committee and FINRA. I am responsible for creating and implementing policies and procedures to ensure compliance and have witnessed the impacts of regulations on both the representative and the firm. I have experience on serving on disciplinary panels, having done so in the past in another FINRA District. I desire your vote so I can be your voice at the table, sharing the concerns and challenges being faced by your firm, your representatives and your clients.
 


 

Carrie Fleisher
Vice President, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer
M Holdings Securities, Inc.

 

Biography

Carrie Fleisher is a Vice President of M Financial Group with her primary role focused on the activities of M Holdings Securities, Inc. ('M Securities'), a registered Broker/Dealer and Registered Investment Adviser that is a wholly owned subsidiary of M Financial Group. In her role with M Securities, Carrie serves as Vice President, Chief Risk & Compliance Officer responsible for all risk, compliance, legal and regulatory activities for the firm.

 

Carrie has served the financial services industry for over 25 years. Prior to joining M Financial in 2002, Carrie held positions at a variety of financial services firms including self-clearing, bank-brokerage, discount brokerage, full service and independent.

 

Carrie holds the FINRA Series 7, 63, 24, 53, and 4 licenses, in addition to being insurance licensed. Carrie also holds the Certified Registered Compliance Professional (CRCP) designation through the FINRA Institute at Wharton Business School. Carrie is an active advocate of the industry through her involvement with the Financial Services Institute (FSI) and The Association for Advanced Life Underwriting (AALU). Carrie serves on the AALU Regulatory Reform Committee and AALU Regulatory Task Force.

 

Through the opportunities I have experienced in my various roles in the industry, whether sales, marketing, operations or compliance, I have gained an appreciation and understanding of the important client needs met by virtually all types of Broker/Dealers and Registered Investment Advisers. I also have deep respect for the importance of collaboration with our industry's regulatory stewards. As a District Committee representative I would seek to listen to and communicate the ideas and concerns of my industry colleagues and strive to enhance the health of our industry through sharing my experiences. Further, I would look to serve as a resource to properly balance friendly and consumer protecting points of view as regulatory processes are considered for updates or revisions.

 

As an active financial services advocate, I would work to make sure our collective voices are heard and understood. At the same time, I would work positively with our regulators to protect the interests of all our constituents. I would be honored to have your support and vote, and promise to earn it.

 

Thank you.