Compliance Matters: Meet the New Rules from FINRA

by Wilson Elser

On March 19, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved several compliance rules proposed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Among the rule adoptions, FINRA Rule 3110 (Supervision) will replace current NASD Rule 3010, while FINRA Rule 3120 (Supervisory Control System) will replace NASD Rule 3012. Although the new rules are not effective until December 1, 2014, firms are encouraged to become familiar with these changes and begin instituting required adjustments to their supervisory system and structure in advance of the effective date. We have highlighted just two examples of some modifications that firms may need to focus on in the coming months.

While FINRA Rule 3110 is not a departure from the existing NASD Rule 3010, the rule change does offer clarifications and expectations, particularly for offices of supervisory jurisdiction (OSJs). While the existing and new rules both require at least one principal to supervise the activity of each OSJ, the new rule makes clear that FINRA expects each OSJ principal to maintain a routine physical presence at the OSJ. Effectively, the new rule presumes that a single principal should not be designated to supervise more than one OSJ, absent special circumstances. The new rule specifically warns that firms using one principal to supervise more than one OSJ will be subject to scrutiny. FINRA expects firms to document the considerations that make this practice reasonable for the firm. These considerations include the size of the OSJ, number of clients, experience and training of the principal, and location and proximity of the OSJs to one another. Firms that currently rely on this special circumstance, or will in the future, are strongly encouraged to document the special circumstance.

As discussed in an earlier blog post, FINRA and the SEC remain concerned with conflicts of interest throughout the industry. The amended rule takes another step toward eliminating or reducing conflicts of interest. FINRA Rule 3110(b)(6) will eliminate NASD Rule 3012, which currently requires heightened supervision for producing managers. According to FINRA, the new rule is designed to encompass all supervisory personnel, instead of only the producing managers. While FINRA and the SEC have already taken positions against self-supervision, this new rule makes clear that supervisory personnel cannot supervise their own activities or report to (or have their employment or compensation determined by) the individual the supervisor is supervising. The new rule will require many firms to expand their current procedures to include all supervisory personnel.

These are only two examples of changes that the new rules will bring about. All firms are encouraged to read the new rules carefully and review their current procedures so that they can make any necessary changes by December 1, 2014. The new rules may be found here.

Please continue to follow our blog for the latest information regarding these and other rule changes.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Wilson Elser | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Wilson Elser

Wilson Elser on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.