How Elections Work

Small Firm Advisory Board Elections

The Small Firm Advisory Board (SFAB) election kicks off in early September. FINRA publishes an Election Notice announcing vacancies on the SFAB and the process for candidates in the five geographical FINRA regions—North, South, Midwest, West and New York—to have his or her name added to the ballot. A spot on the SFAB for your region will be available at least every three years. In 2015, representatives from the North and West regions will be elected.

To be eligible for the SFAB, a person must be a senior member of a small firm whose primary place of business and whose firm has its main office in the region up for election. Senior members of firms include owners, chief executive officers, presidents, chief compliance officers, chief operating officers, the firm’s FINOP or individuals of comparable status.

The September Election Notice solicits candidates. Eligible candidates self-nominate by completing a candidate profile sheet and submitting it to FINRA. The profile sheet has basic information about you and a biography and position statement section where voters can learn more about you.

After candidates submit their biography, FINRA publishes another Election Notice (usually in the beginning of October) listing the candidates. The Notice includes the profile sheets the candidates completed. FINRA then sends ballots to the executive representatives of firms eligible to vote in the election. The candidate receiving the most votes wins the election. The winner serves a three-year term beginning in January of the following year. Once an individual has completed a full three-year elected term on the SFAB, he or she is ineligible to run for re-election to the SFAB for another three years.

District Committee Elections

Each district has a small, mid-sized and large firm representative on the District Committee. Every year, FINRA holds an election to fill small and large firm vacancies. For mid-size firms, the election takes place every three years. If a member resigns before his or her term is complete, FINRA will hold an election to fill the vacancy.

The process is simple: In September of each year, FINRA publishes an Election Notice that lists all of the vacancies on FINRA’s 11 district committees. The Election Notice also includes the process for individuals to self-nominate. To be eligible to run for a committee seat, a person must be associated with a FINRA member firm, registered in the capacity of a branch manager or principal or denoted as a corporate officer of the FINRA member firm, and he or she must also work primarily from the firm’s principal office or a branch office that is located within the district where the member would serve on a district committee.

If you are eligible and would like to run for an open seat, follow the instructions in the Election Notice,  complete the candidate profile sheet and submit it to FINRA. The profile sheet has basic information about you and a biography and statement section where voters can learn more about you.

After candidates submit their profile sheet, FINRA publishes another election notice (usually in the beginning of October) listing the candidates by district and firm size. The Notice includes the profile sheets the candidates completed. FINRA then sends ballots to the executive representatives of firms eligible to vote in the election. Firms that have an office in your district and that are the same size as your firm are eligible to vote for you. The candidate receiving the most votes by firm size wins the election. The winner serves a three-year term beginning in January of the following year. To ensure more people have an opportunity to serve on the district committees, a District Committee member may not serve two full terms consecutively.