February 7, 2013
Members of the public who become investors with brokerage firms regularly express surprise when the details of the arbitration rules are first discussed. When a member of the public hears and reads that an "all public" panel may be available, they hear the word public in the way that ordinary people use it. No one expects the word public to actually be a defined term, in a way where employees of hedge funds and mutual funds are considered public.
It is important to the perceived integrity of the arbitration system that public actually mean public. Public should not include people who are or ever were employees of hedge funds and mutual funds. It is simply unfair that arbitrators, without review, could be called public when they are employees of sophisticated financial firms.
We strongly support the rule change excluding these employees and former employees from the public arbitrator pool. Thank you.