Insurgent Chris Flint wins contested Finra election for big-firm board seat

Linde Murphy wins small-firm board seat that was also subject of contested election

Aug 19, 2019 @ 5:17 pm

By InvestmentNews

In a contested election for a large-firm seat on the board of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., insurgent candidate Chris W. Flint has won over incumbent Andrew S. Duff, who was selected to run by the Finra board's nominating committee.

(More: Insurgent candidate vies for large-firm seat on Finra board

In another contested election, Linde Murphy, chief compliance officer of M.E. Allison & Co., Inc., won the race for one of the three small-firm seats on the Finra board. She was nominated by petition to run against incumbent small-firm seat board member Robert A. Muh, chief executive of Sutter Securities.

Mr. Flint, who is president and chief executive of ProEquities Inc., had been endorsed by the Financial Services Institute, which represents independent broker-dealers and financial advisers, and the Bank Insurance Securities Association, a trade group for bank-based financial advisers. In his run for the office,

A former president of Lincoln Financial Services who also currently serves as senior vice president for distribution companies for Protective Life Insurance Co., Mr. Flint said that Finra needs more input from large firms that provide financial advice and investment products and that he could best represent the Finra large-firm members who concentrate on delivering financial advice and products.

Mr. Duff, the former chairman and chief executive of Piper Jaffray Companies, acknowledged that his firm transitioned to a fully institutional focus more than a decade ago, but noted that it had served retail investors for most of its 120-year history. In addition, he said the other two large-firm Finra board representatives — Timothy C. Scheve, president and CEO of Janney Montgomery Scott, and Jim Nagengast, chief executive of Securities America Financial Corp. Inc. — run retail-oriented firms.

(More:Kovack re-elected to Finra board

During her campaign, Ms. Murphy said she has seen "great strides, especially from senior-level [Finra] management," in its treatment of smaller firms, but was concerned that Finra's approach to regulating small firms has not progressed beyond the Finra executive suite. She said that frontline Finra employees "don't understand small businesses, and Finra in general has never sat where we sit as small-firm leaders, handling every aspect of the business."

Two new public governors, who were nominated by Finra's nominating committee and approved by the full Board in July, are Camille Busette, director of the race, prosperity, and inclusion initiative and senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution; and Ethiopis Tafara, vice president and general counsel of legal, compliance risk and sustainability at the International Finance Corporation, which is part of the World Bank.

All four new governors begin their three-year terms on Finra's Board effective immediately.

The Finra board consists of 24 members, 10 of whom are from the industry and 13 of whom are public. Finra chief executive Robert W. Cook also sits on the board.

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