Petition candidates snag two spots on FINRA's board
There will be some new faces on FINRA's board of governors, as two upstart candidates unseated incumbents in races for the spots allotted to representatives of large and small firms.
Chris Flint, CEO of ProEquities, a dually registered RIA and broker-dealer, won a rare contested race for one of the large-firm spots.
Flint staked his campaign on the importance of expanding representation on FINRA's board for firms that work with retail investors.
"I believe the best way to serve and protect retail investors is to ensure that firms focused on the delivery of financial advice are sufficiently represented on the board," Flint said when he announced his candidacy in July.
He defeated incumbent Andrew Duff, former CEO of Piper Jaffray.
In another contested race, petition candidate Linde Murphy, managing director of Argent Financial Group in San Antonio, defeated incumbent Robert Muh, CEO of San Francisco-based Sutter Securities, to win a seat on the board representing small firms.
Flint and Murphy will join two new public governors on FINRA's board. In July, the board approved the nominations of Camille Busette, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Ethiopis Tafara, vice president at the International Finance Corporation, a unit of the World Bank Group.
The four new governors will begin serving their three-year terms immediately.
While petition challenges are common for small-firm seats, they are unusual in the selection process when it comes to large-firm spots. Candidate Flint enjoyed some industry support, including the backing of the Financial Services Institute, which heralded his victory on Monday.
"We were proud to endorse Chris and work hard to help bring his commitment to investor protection and fresh perspectives to the FINRA board," FSI CEO Dale Brown said in a statement.
"One of our top goals is to make the value of the independent model to investors better understood by all stakeholders. Having now helped our third petition candidate secure a FINRA Board seat in the last four years, we're more confident than ever that strong progress is being made toward this goal," he wrote.
FINRA has 24 board members, including three seats each for representatives of large and small firms and one representative of midsize brokers. Thirteen spots are held by public representatives, and one spot each is reserved for a representative from an independent dealer or insurance affiliate, an affiliate from an investment company, a floor member, and FINRA's CEO, Robert Cook.