The Blog Of The Securities Industry Professional Association


pencil-logoMake your voice heard!

 The race for the small firm seat is underway and all three candidates are busy asking members for your vote.  Sitting governor Jed Bandes is locked in what appears to be a tight race with David Sobel , the head of the Small Firms Advisory Board and newcomer Robert Keenan of St. Bernard Financial.  We have been asked to support one of the candidates but have refused because we believe all three bring a unique perspective and skill set to the position.  We decided to do a quick evaluation of the candidates and let you decide who best serves the needs of the small broker dealers.  We will analyze some of the pros and cons of each candidate in our typical honest and blunt style but we thought it was important to make sure your voice is heard.

There are some out there who are not even in the race criticizing the three candidates and telling members not to vote.  We believe this to be reckless and irresponsible and could be a death blow to small firms.  For years NASD/FINRA nominated candidates and while some scoff at the notion that they were hand picked, there was no way the nominating committee was going to pick someone like me to be on their committee. That is  just the plain cold truth.  There are many who contested these elections along the years and their labors should not be ignored but it was the FIA and the SIPA that took it to new levels.  Over a two year period the FIA contested nearly every election and at one point they contested every district election (31 in total) and won an astounding 24 of them. Robert Keenan and Jed Bandes were two winners on that slate.  I was personally part of the first ever ‘sweep’ of a district committee election.  When SIPA was formed we endorsed continued contested elections and to date nearly every person we have openly endorsed has won and when we helped run a slate of candidates for the three small firm governor seats and won in a landslide, a startling thing happened.  FINRA basically gave us what we have wanted for years: Free and open elections.  The nominating committee has allowed small firms the freedom to choose their own candidates via petition and ballots. What more could we possibly ask for?   This is why we have stopped supporting specific candidates because the members now decide their candidate.

To now here some rant against the system is very sad to say the least.  In the election process on every level there will always be a winner and a loser; there are no ties in elections.  There have been so many that have been fighting for this right for so long,  it seems absurd and insane to silence your vote now.  If you don’t like a candidate you should not vote for him or her but go through the list and have your voice heard.  One of the reasons Barak Obama is president is the stunningly low turnout of republicans.  I have talked to many Republicans who said “John McCain wasn’t conservative enough” and others who thought Mitt Romney was too rich and too right on issues like abortion.  I’m always stunned when they tell me they didn’t vote in the election due to this reason.  McCain wasn’t conservative enough so you don’t vote and allow the most left wing liberal in history become president?   The logic escapes me.

As you receive the mass mailings and e-mails, take the time to appreciate that this is YOUR vote and this will be YOUR voice on the board. Do not take it for granted and do not listen to those who will destroy.  The last four elections for the Board and NAC you have spoken and used your voice.  Do not be swayed by those who want you to not vote and return to a nominating committee selection process.  Too many have sacrificed to get you this right.

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July 23rd, 2013



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