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“Approved as To Form and Content”—What Does it Mean?

By James J. Reynolds of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Thursday, August 16, 2018.

Almost every lawyer has seen if not signed off an agreement containing at the end of the document the words “approved as to form and content,” typically found in a settlement agreement.What legal impact does the attorney’s signature have when approving form and content?  Read More

FINRA Investigations Under Rule 8210

By Erwin J. Shustak, Esq. of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Thursday, August 9, 2018.

It is every registered person’s nightmare. You receive a letter from a FINRA office notifying you that you are the subject of a FINRA investigation. […] Read More

The SEC’s “Best Interest Rule”: Another Try at Heightened Investor Protection

By Jessica L. Mackaness, Esq. of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Monday, August 13, 2018.

Since the financial crisis of 2008, consumer advocates and the financial services industry both have advocated for a heightened standard of conduct for broker-dealers when dealing with retail investors. President Barack Obama's Department of Labor attempted this by promulgating its “fiduciary” rule, but, […] Read More

Broker Protocol Update: Merrill Wants to Have it Both Ways

By Erwin J. Shustak, Esq. of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Tuesday, July 31, 2018.

Following the abrupt exit of Morgan Stanley and UBS from the Protocol for Broker Recruiting at the end of last year, financial advisers at the remaining wire-houses that still are part of the Protocol - essentially Wells Fargo and Merrill Lynch - are wondering how long their firms will remain as Protocol members. [...] Read More

Brokers Fleeing Wells Fargo Head To Regional B-Ds

By Erwin J. Shustak, Esq. of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Wednesday, July 11, 2018.

In prior blogs, we wrote about the increasing movement of brokers and investment advisors from the remaining “wirehouses” (Morgan Stanley; UBS; Wells Fargo; Merrill Lynch) to one of many independent platforms. [...] Read More

FINRA to Transform its CRD Platform

By Jonah A. Toleno, Esq. of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Tuesday, July 3, 2018.

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (formerly NASD), has announced it is transforming its online CRD (Central Registration Depository) platform. Those in financial services are familiar with Web CRD as FINRA’s central licensing and [...] Read More

Broker Protocol Update: Will Wells Fargo Stay or Go?

By George C. Miller, Esq. of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2018.

An internal memorandum Wells Fargo recently circulated to its 14,000+ advisors has called into question the firm’s ongoing commitment to The Broker Protocol. The memorandum reportedly lists a number of planned updates to the firm’s client privacy policies, including [...] Read More

What is the Effect of a FINRA Form U4 or U5 Disclosure?

By George C. Miller, Esq. of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.

Representatives of broker-dealers, investment advisers and securities issuers must complete a Form U4 (titled “Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer”) to register with FINRA and the various states and other jurisdictions in which they do business. The Form U4 requires applicants to list, among other things [...] Read More

Regulators Pursue Enforcement Actions Against Woodbridge Sales Representatives

By George C. Miller, Esq. of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Friday, June 8, 2018.

Last December, the Securities and Exchange Commission accused the Woodbridge Group of Companies and its founder, Robert Shapiro, of running a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme and allegedly bilking thousands of retail investors, including many senior citizens, out of their hard earned retirement funds. According to the SEC’s complaint, Woodbridge [...] Read More

Outside Business Activity Abuses High on FINRA’s Hit List

By Erwin J. Shustak, Esq. of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2018.

As a sign of just how serious FINRA considers failures by brokers to comply with their firm’s Outside Business Activity disclosure rules to be, consider this: Four of the 11 consent letters, by which a registered person agrees to a settlement with FINRA [...] Read More