Robert’s practice centers on legal and regulatory guidance in the formation and registration of broker/dealers and investment advisers, and representation of broker/dealers, investment advisers and their representatives with respect to regulatory and compliance-related matters.
He represents brokerage firms and their associated persons in connection with regulatory investigations, and disciplinary proceedings before the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”). He also specializes in representing parties in securities arbitration and civil court proceedings and is a member of FINRA Dispute Resolution’s panel of industry arbitrators.
Prior to joining the firm, Robert was the general counsel for a national, independent broker/dealer and registered investment adviser. His duties included managing the brokerage firm’s regulatory compliance and corporate governance functions, providing advice and guidance to management on federal, state and self -regulatory organization compliance and related issues, including general corporate and employment matters, and was a senior member of the firm’s management team.
Robert’s duties also included the oversight of corporate and SEC-related matters of the firm’s publicly traded parent company, including the preparation and filing of all Securities Act reports; administration of annual shareholder meetings, and annual report and proxy filings; attendance at board and shareholder meetings and providing advice and counsel to the board of directors and committees of the board; directing all shareholder communications; administering the Company’s stock option plan; and developing and managing, corporate governance policies and procedures for the public company.
At the same time, Robert maintained a small private law practice with emphasis on broker/dealer and investment adviser formation, regulation and compliance; securities arbitration, litigation, mediation and regulatory matters; Securities Act and Exchange Act reporting and filings, disclosure and offerings; life health and annuity insurance practice; general corporate practice, including, corporate formation, governance and shareholder matters. He also conducted commercial and residential real estate transactions.
Robert recently founded the Investor Literacy Project; a seminar experience for the individual investors which provides basic knowledge and information concerning investors’ rights and responsibilities in dealing with financial professionals. It’s mission is to arm investors with the tools to effectively manage the investment process and avoid becoming a victim of fraud and abuse by unscrupulous financial professionals.
- Obtained expungement of customer complaint for registered representative and certified financial planner improperly accused of violating industry regulations.
- Obtained an arbitration award of $0 damages for a NY-based broker/dealer client sued for $9.9 million in alleged license fees.
- Successfully defended FINRA Enforcement proceeding against regulatory charges that our client violated Section 5 of the Securities Act and various IRS regulations regarding issuance of tax forms.
- Resolved broker note cases for registered representatives under terms favorable to our clients.
- Founded the Investor Literacy Project which provides investors and potential investors which provides basic knowledge and information concerning investors’ rights and responsibilities in dealing with financial professionals.
- Serves as an industry arbitrator and chairman for the Financial Industry Regulatory Association (“FINRA”) office of Dispute Resolution to hear both customer and industry arbitration cases.
- Defense of a securities broker facing a serious fraud charge in connection with activities as a bond trader. Successfully opposed a motion for summary judgment in a regulatory proceeding allowing the matter to proceed to a final hearing where client is permitted to present evidence and witness testimony before an extended hearing panel.
- Monmouth County’s Top Lawyers 2018
PROFESSIONAL / COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES
- Member of the Board of Arbitrators-FINRA’s Office of Dispute Resolution, chairperson and industry panel member for securities and employment-related disputes.
- Former member of the Supreme Court of New Jersey District IX Ethics Committee (September 2008-August 2011).
- Holds the following securities and investment adviser registrations:
- General Securities Representative (FINRA Series 7)
- Registered Securities Principal (FINRA Series 24)
- Registered Investment Adviser (FINRA Series 65)
- Uniform State Law Agent Registration (FINRA Series 63)