January 16, 2013
The purpose of this letter is to provide the Securities and Exchange Commission with comments on the above referenced proposed rule change which was filed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) on January 4, 2013.
I am an attorney whose practice is exclusively devoted to the representation of public investors in their disputes with the securities industry. Moreover, I am a former President and current Director Emeritus of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA) and am the current Chairman of FINRAs National Arbitration and Mediation Committee (NAMC).
It is my personal opinion that the portion of the proposed revisions to the FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure (FINRA Code), which would remove individuals who are associated with both hedge funds and mutual funds from being classified as public arbitrators, would be beneficial – if not critical – for public investors, the integrity of the arbitration forum and should be immediately approved by the staff of the Commission.
It is my further personal opinion that the portion of the proposed revisions to the FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure (FINRA Code), which would impose a two (2) year period of time to pass before prior industry-related individuals could be considered for classification as public arbitrators, is not sufficient and should be expanded to at least five (5) years before such individuals could potentially be classified as public arbitrators.
Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to submit my comments on this rule filing.