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Suitability: What You Need to Know

SKU: FR800
Total Credits
  • Online Access
  • Smartphone
  • iPad/iPod/Tablets
  • CDs/DVDs


This CLE program addresses key issues regarding compliance with the suitability rule. Panelists provide practical advice on how firms and registered representatives can better understand customers and securities in order to comply with the suitability rule. They also discuss the intersection of suitability requirements with recent hot topics, such as senior customers, sales of complex products, IRA rollovers, concentration levels, automated tools and share class selection. Finally, panelists offer insights into recent FINRA examination experiences focused on suitability issues.

After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand the main suitability obligations
  • Compare and contrast how broker-dealers with different business models are complying with suitability requirements
  • Enhance your compliance program based on recent examination experiences
  • Understand significant suitability issues that may impact your firm going forward

FINRA® is a registered trademark of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.

Lecturer Bios

James S. Wrona, Esq.

James S. Wrona is Vice President and Associate General Counsel for FINRA in Washington, DC. In this role, he is responsible for various policy initiatives, rule changes and litigation regarding the securities industry. Mr. Wrona formerly was associated with the law firm of K&L Gates LLP, where his practice focused on complex federal litigation. He also previously served as a federal law clerk for the Honorable A. Andrew Hauk of the United States District Court for the Central District of California (Los Angeles). Mr. Wrona is a frequent speaker at securities and litigation conferences and author of numerous law review articles, including The Best of Both Worlds: A Fact-Based Analysis of the Legal Obligations of Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers and a Framework for Enhanced Investor Protection, 68 Bus. Law. 1 (Nov. 2012); The Securities Industry and the Internet: A Suitable Match 2001 Colum. Bus. L. Rev. 601 (2001).

Aimee Blinder

Aimee Blinder is the Vice President, Compliance, for National Planning Holdings, Inc., Aimee Blinder is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the NPH Compliance Department. The department consists primarily of the Compliance Support Unit (CSU) and the Supervisory Control Unit (SCU). The CSU is responsible for a wide range of support efforts, such as analysis and interpretation of regulatory rule proposals and amendments, projects with a focus on compliance systems, platforms, and proactive initiatives, and assisting in the creation of compliance oriented forms, policies, manuals, and alerts. Parallel to the CSU, the SCU provides support and guidance to the network in relation to each firm’s supervisory control program, annual AML audits, and investment advisory reviews. Ms. Blinder is dually registered with the four firms within the NPH network and holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 53, and 66 registrations, in addition to the NFA Series 3, and the following designations; Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist and FINRA’s Institute at Wharton Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional. Ms. Blinder served as 2012 Compliance Council Chair for the Financial Services Institute, as part of her six year term with the Council. She has also served as an active member on various FINRA District Committees. Joining the NPH network in 1998, Ms. Blinder has served in a variety of compliance oriented roles and capacities within the organization. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington.

Raymond H. Smith

Raymond H. Smith is President of Smith Brown & Groover, Inc., a securities broker/dealer in Macon, Georgia. In 1997 he became a co-founder of Rivoli Bank and Trust, a commercial bank chartered in Georgia, and served on its board of directors until its sale in 2005. He also was a founding investor in Patriot Bank of Georgia in 2006. In 2010 Mr. Smith founded Cordia Bank Holding Co. and purchased a controlling interest in Bank of Virginia in Richmond. Mr. Smith previously served as chairman of a 5- state committee for the Financial Industry Regulatory Advisory Board (FINRA). He has also served on FINRA’s Small Firm Advisory Board in Washington, DC. After completing his M.B.A. in 1982, Mr. Smith was appointed Vice President at Prudential Capital, where he was responsible for asset and liability management and new product development. Subsequently he developed interest rate hedging strategies as a Vice President at E.F. Hutton in New York, and co-founded Capital Risk Management Corp., where he specialized in asset securitization. Mr. Smith holds leadership positions in various civic and charitable groups in Macon, Georgia. He earned his B.B.A from the University of Georgia and M.B.A. from the University of Texas.

James A. Tricarico Jr., Esq.

James A. Tricarico Jr. is the Chief Legal Officer of Edward Jones. He joined the firm in 2006 as a Principal and General Counsel. Prior to joining the firm, he served as the co-head of the broker-dealer practice for Duane Morris LLP in New York City. Previously, he was General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Prudential Securities, Inc., where he was also a member of that firm’s Operating Council. Mr. Tricarico has focused his practice in the areas of financial services, litigation, regulatory counseling and enforcement. At Edward Jones, Mr. Tricarico has responsibility for Legal, Compliance and Government Relations. He is a member of the Executive and Management committees. Mr. Tricarico is admitted to the Bar in Missouri and New York. He is a member of the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee for the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and also a member of their Compliance and Legal Society's Executive Committee, of which, he is a former president. Mr. Tricarico served for four years as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Investment Compliance. In addition, he is a member of the board of the St. Louis Historical Society. A graduate of Fordham University, Mr. Tricarico graduated cum laude from New York Law School.

Kathy Van Noy-Pineda

Kathy Van Noy-Pineda joined LPL Financial in 2008 and serves as Executive Vice President of Brokerage Compliance and Brokerage Chief Compliance Officer. In this role, she is directly responsible for surveillance, branch exams, compliance education and communication, ERISA compliance, fraud intelligence unit and insurance compliance. Prior to joining LPL Financial, Ms. Van Noy-Pineda worked for Citigroup as a director of compliance education and global wealth management. Her responsibilities included designing and executing compliance education programs in global wealth management. She also headed early dispute resolution for Smith Barney. Prior to that, Ms. Van Noy-Pineda worked for TIAA-CREF for 18 years, including the roles of chief compliance officer for sales and client services and chief compliance officer for individual investments and insurance products. She was a financial adviser before beginning her compliance career. Ms. Van Noy-Pineda holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from Central College of Iowa and a law degree from St. John’s University School of Law, and she is admitted to the practice of law in New York. She is a member of FINRA’s District 2 Committee and has served on various FINRA and MSRB industry working groups, is a frequent speaker at industry events and is a long-time member and past board chair of the National Society of Compliance Professionals.

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