Reputation is everything in a broker’s professional life. Good reputations bring clients and stability; a bad reputation might end a broker’s career. But what exactly makes a reputation?
You build your reputation with hard work, happy clients and good results. That sounds simple, but it isn’t since there is so much about your reputation you cannot control. Often, a broker working for their clients’ best results can end up the subject of disciplinary action from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) or the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). Then, their reputation takes an irreparable hit.
Or does it?
Every broker’s disciplinary record is publicly available on FINRA’s website. If a broker has:
- Had a complaint filed against them
- Gone through disciplinary proceedings
- Had their license suspended
A potential new client can easily find that out through FINRA’s Brokercheck reports. However, those reports are not final.
If you are a broker who has had complaints filed or experienced disciplinary action, you have an opportunity to expunge those records. The process is not simple. It requires going before the arbitration panel and successfully arguing to remove the record.
Prepping for arbitration
If you wish to pursue arbitration to clear your record of a complaint or disciplinary action, it’s important to speak with an attorney. An attorney well-versed in securities law both at the federal level and in your individual state, be it New York or anywhere else, can provide significant insight into the process ahead. You’ll need to have a strong case for removing a record, such as a misrepresentation in the complaint.
You are not out of options
Reputations are important in the investment industry. Protecting yours should be a top priority. You might think a complaint or disciplinary action is career-ending, but with the right actions and the right advice, you just may get your career back on track.