The Securities Litigation Expert Blog

Finra Appoints First Chief Economist

Posted by Jack Duval

May 1, 2013 4:10:23 AM

Finra has hired Jonathan S. Sokobin to be the SROs Chief Economist.  (TR)  Sokobin was trained at the University of Chicago and holds a Ph.D. in Finance.  His primary task will be to prepare cost-benefit analyses of proposed regulations.  From the Thomson Reuters article:

The move is part of a broader effort at FINRA to more deeply scrutinize the potential costs and benefits of securities industry rules it wants to propose.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which must approve changes to FINRA's rules, wants FINRA to better support the economic aspects of proposals it submits to the SEC for review, Robert Colby, FINRA's chief legal officer, said last year.

The SEC became more concerned about costs and benefits of industry rules when a federal court, in 2011, threw out an important part of the Dodd-Frank financial oversight law involving shareholders' ability to nominate corporate directors, saying the agency's economic analysis was flawed.

Wall Street's top lobbying group, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, has also been pushing for more detailed analyses of the costs of certain rules to the industry.

Sokobin, who received an MBA and PhD in finance from the University of Chicago, joined the Treasury Department in 2011 as chief of analytical strategy in the office of financial research. Earlier, he was acting director of the SEC's division of risk, strategy and financial innovation. He joined the SEC in 2000 and was named deputy chief economist in 2004.

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Topics: FINRA, SIFMA, chief economist, SEC, cost-benefit analysis, Dodd-Frank Act, Jonathan S. Sokobin, regulation.

SEC Sweep Exams

Posted by Jack Duval

Dec 21, 2012 2:55:54 AM

Hat tip to Reyhani Nemirovsky for excellent blog coverage of the SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society meeting on December 18, 2012.  (RN)  Key takeaways on where the Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") is focusing resources:

OCIE’s exams initiatives are currently focused on the following areas:

  • governance of technology and controls;

  • the Facebook IPO;

  • seniors;

  • non-exchange traded REITs;

  • alternative trading systems;

  • high-yield securities and how they are marketed; and

  • due diligence.

Exam alerts that are forthcoming from OCIE relate to:

  • investment adviser due diligence;

  • options;

  • reasonable inquiry (know your customer);

  • structured products to retail clients; and

  • broker-dealer services to investment advisers.

Compliance officers should take note of these areas for training and budgetary purposes.
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Topics: FINRA, SIFMA, Investment Advisors, OCIE, investments, SEC, Compliance

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