Compliance Newsflash – December 27, 2017

December 29, 2017

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Board Approves 2018 Budget, Rule Proposals, Enhanced Committee Structure and Improved Registration System
On December 20, 2017, The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Board of Governors held its final meeting of 2017 on Dec. 13-14 in New York, where it approved FINRA’s 2018 budget and updated Financial Guiding Principles – both of which FINRA will publish for the first time in early 2018. It also approved advancing several rule proposals and improving the technology supporting FINRA’s registration system. The FINRA Board, which meets five times annually, also met with Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton to discuss the respective regulatory priorities of the SEC and FINRA, particularly their shared focus on the protection of retail investors. The Board also received an update on various FINRA360 initiatives, and approved several changes to FINRA’s Advisory Committee and District Committee structure in response to feedback from CEO Robert W. Cook’s listening tour and the FINRA360 Special Notice on FINRA’s engagement programs. FINRA will release details on those changes in early January.
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Gerald Hodgkins, Associate Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, to Leave the Agency After 20 Years of Service
On December 21, 2017, The Securities and Exchange Commission announced that Gerald W. Hodgkins, an Associate Director of the Division of Enforcement, will leave the agency at the end of this year for private practice. During his tenure of two decades at the SEC, Mr. Hodgkins has overseen more than 100 enforcement actions covering the full breadth of the agency’s jurisdiction, including issuer reporting and disclosure fraud, violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and misconduct by entities regulated by the agency. Since being appointed as Associate Director in 2010, Mr. Hodgkins also has served as a founding member of the SEC’s Claims Review Staff, which makes recommendations to the Commission concerning when and how much to award whistleblowers under the SEC’s whistleblower program. He also has served as a member of the SEC’s National Labor Management Forum. “Jerry embodies what it means to be a dedicated public servant,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “He will be missed terribly by all of us in the Enforcement Division, but most especially by the scores of lawyers he has mentored and supervised over the years.”
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