How Elections Work

Small Firm Advisory Committee Elections

The Small Firm Advisory Committee (SFAC) election kicks off in early September. FINRA publishes an Election Notice announcing vacancies on the SFAC 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 SFAC for your region will be available at least every three years.

To be eligible for the SFAC, 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, 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 SFAC, he or she is ineligible to run for re-election to the SFAB for another three years.

Regional Committee Elections

Each Regional Committee will have six elected members from each district within that committee’s region.. Regional Committees representing three districts (i.e., the South and West) will have 18 members, and Regional Committees representing two districts (i.e., Midwest, North, and New York) will have 12 members. Every year, FINRA holds an election to vacancies. 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 5 regional committees. The Election Notice also describes the process by which individuals can self-nominate to become a candidate and the eligibility requirements.To be eligible to run for a regional committee seat, a person must be associated with a FINRA member headquartered within the district the person will be representing on the committee. Additionally the person must be registered in the capacity of a branch manager or principal or denoted as a corporate officer of the FINRA member firm.

If you are eligible and would like to run for an open seat, follow the instructions in the Election Notice, complete a candidate profile sheet and submit it to FINRA. The profile sheet includes basic background information, a biography and a personal statement through which voting firms can learn about each candidate and why he or she is seeking a seat on the regional committee.

After candidates submit their profile sheet, FINRA publishes another election notice (usually in the beginning of October) listing the candidates by region. The Notice includes a link to the profile sheets the candidates completed. FINRA then mails ballots to the executive representatives of firms eligible to vote in the election. Firms headquartered in a specific district can vote for the candidates on that district ballot. The candidate receiving the most votes wins the election.

The successful candidates serve three-year terms beginning in January of the following year. To provide opportunities for additional people to serve on the regional committees, a Regional Committee member may not serve two full terms consecutively.