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).
Norm Ashkenas is Senior Vice President, CCO for Fidelity Brokerage Services, running Broker/Dealer and Insurance compliance for Fidelity Investments’ retail and retirement business. He has been with Fidelity since 2003 in various compliance leadership roles, including field, product and regulatory, internal controls and ASL covering B/D, IA, ERISA/Tax and TA issues. He has also been CCO for Fidelity Distributors Corporation and Fidelity Personal Trust. Previously, Mr. Ashkenas spent 10 years with Prudential Securities as SVP for Regulatory & Compliance Examinations, and VP/Associate General Counsel. Prior to that, he was a litigation attorney with Chemical Bank. He is on the FINRA District 11 Committee and Membership Committee, has served on the Regulatory Advisory Committee, and is on the Board of Directors for NSCP and chair of the NSCP Broker/Dealer Committee. Mr. Ashkenas has spoken frequently at industry conferences such as the FINRA Annual Conference, SIFMA Compliance & Legal Division Annual Seminar and NSCP National & Regional Meetings. He earned a BA from Northwestern University and JD from Fordham Law School, and holds Series 7, 14, 24 & 63.
Gene DeMaio, Esq.
Gene DeMaio is a Senior Vice President in FINRA’s Market Regulation Department where he manages the Options Regulation program, which he was instrumental in developing and implementing. Previous to joining FINRA, Mr. DeMaio was an Options Market Maker at the American Stock Exchange, and earlier worked as an attorney at the law firm of Kord Lagemann where he represented complainants in securities arbitration disputes. Mr. DeMaio is a graduate of Fordham Law and earned his LL.M at New York University.
Jon Kroeper, Esq.
Jon Kroeper is the Executive Vice President of the Quality of Markets Section of FINRA’s Market Regulation Department. The Quality of Markets Section is responsible for the conduct of post-trade surveillance and investigations related to data integrity, market conduct rules, and trading-manipulation matters in the U.S. equity and fixed income markets regulated by FINRA as a self-regulatory organization and as a provider of regulatory services to other U.S. SROs. Prior to joining FINRA's predecessor NASD in early 2007, Mr. Kroeper served as Counsel to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Chris Cox in 2006 and 2007, and Counsel to Commissioner Paul S. Atkins in 2005. From 2000 to 2005, Mr. Kroeper was First Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Instinet Group Incorporated.
Mr. Kroeper began his career at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in 1994, serving as a senior counsel in the Division of Market Regulation and subsequently as Counsel to Commissioner Laura S. Unger. Mr. Kroeper received a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and a law degree, cum laude, from Chicago-Kent College of Law.
Ed Wegener is Senior Vice President and Midwest Regional Director for FINRA. In that role, he is responsible for leading the department of Member Regulation’s regulatory efforts for the region including its surveillance and examination programs. Mr. Wegener started with FINRA (fka NASD) in 1998. Since that time, he has lead or been involved in several significant fraud, sales practice and financial and operational examinations and investigations. He has served in a leadership role in a number of key strategic initiatives for the organization including the design and implementation of FINRA’s risk-based examination program. FINRA is responsible for regulating brokerage firms and licensed brokers doing business in the United States. The Midwest Region covers firms and individuals conducting securities business in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. FINRA’s Midwest Region is made up of approximately 130 surveillance and examination staff. Mr. Wegener is a graduate of Illinois State University and he has a Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional designation from the FINRA Institute at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Wegener has completed the FINRA Leadership Program at the Wharton School and the Leadership Development Program at the Center for Creative Leadership.
Don Runkle is the Director of Consulting Services with Edgerton & Weaver, LLC, and the Regulatory Compliance Director for Coordinated Capital Securities, Inc. Mr. Runkle works with broker-dealers, investment advisers, and registered representatives to develop, implement, and execute strategies to mitigate or eliminate their litigation and regulatory risks. The combination of his firm’s legal expertise, strong regulatory relationships, and extensive business experience allows the firm to offer a uniquely comprehensive range of services for their clients. In his role with Coordinated Capital Securities, he helps to ensure that the firm has appropriate processes and procedures to exceed all regulatory requirements and manage risks in an efficient and effective fashion. He also assists with the execution of all procedures as necessary, including support functions in examinations, regulatory inquiries, customer complaints, options activities, municipal bond activities, new and ongoing product reviews, suitability analyses, and general operational and compliance functions. Mr. Runkle was previously the Chief Compliance Officer for Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., in St. Petersburg, Florida. He has over 23 years of experience in the financial services industry, having worked as a financial advisor and in several compliance-related roles. Mr. Runkle has been an active leader in numerous industry associations and regulatory committees.
He currently serves on the FINRA Membership Committee, and he was previously elected to two terms on the FINRA District 7 Committee. He has also served on the FINRA Regulatory Advisory Committee, the SIFMA Compliance and Regulatory Policy Committee, the FSI Compliance Council, and the SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society’s Regional Firms Committee. Previous industry involvement also includes the FINRA Compliance Resources and Education Committee, the FINRA Books and Records Task Force, the NASD Licensing and Registrations Council, the SIFMA Self-Regulations and Supervisory Practices Committee, the SIFMA State Regulation and Legislation Committee, and the IAFP Compliance Advisory Council. He holds numerous industry licenses, including the Series 7, 24, 53, 4, 63, 65, and previously obtained the Florida Life and Health insurance license. He also completed the Securities Industry Institute at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School in 2004, and he has been a FINRA arbitrator since 1998.
Susan Schroeder, Esq.
Susan Schroeder is the Deputy Chief of FINRA’s Department of Enforcement, responsible for Enforcement’s home office in New York. Prior to joining FINRA, she was a partner in WilmerHale’s Securities Litigation and Enforcement practice, where she specialized in SEC, FINRA, and state enforcement actions. She began her legal career as a litigation associate at Kirkland & Ellis. She received her J.D. from NYU School of Law, her M.A. from the University of California at Davis, and her B.A. from Georgetown University. She is a member of the New York bar.
Brent P. Cohen, Esq.
Brent P. Cohen is the U.S. Head of AML Compliance at RBC Capital Markets, LLC responsible for oversight of AML, sanctions and the financial crime program for the institutional trading business, investment banking, corporate banking and the Royal Bank of Canada-New York branch. Prior to RBC Capital Markets LLC, Mr. Cohen served as the Director of AML Compliance within FINRA’s Enforcement Department. His primary responsibilities included assisting with anti-money laundering issues arising in investigations and examinations, as well as advising staff FINRA-wide on issues involving the handling of suspicious activity reports (SARs). Before FINRA, Mr. Cohen was a vice president in the AML-Suspicious Activities Group at Goldman Sachs & Co. In that role, he was responsible for investigating potentially suspicious activity across the firm's various business lines, including private wealth management, prime brokerage and clearing and execution. Mr. Cohen also previously served as an assistant general counsel in the Money Laundering Prevention Group at UBS Financial Services, Inc., where he investigated possible violations of the Bank Secrecy Act ("BSA") and provided legal advice to business units concerning BSA requirements and the implementation of the firm's policies and procedures. Mr. Cohen received his B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany, from which he graduated summa cum laude, and his J.D., with honors, from the University of North Carolina School of Law.
Wendy Lanton has been working in the financial services industry for more than 20 years. She is one of the founding principals of Lantern Investments, a FINRA registered broker dealer, and Lantern Wealth Advisors, an SEC registered investment advisor. She has been the Chief Compliance Officer of Lantern Investments since its inception in 1993. The firm has multiple business lines and currently has 44 registered representatives and operates 13 branch offices across the country. Ms. Lanton is responsible for both the firm’s compliance and the day to day operations. In December 2015 she was appointed to the FINRA Small Firm Advisory Board. She also currently serves on the Steering Committee for her firm’s current clearing firm and was the co-chairperson on the steering committee at her previous clearing firm. As a steering committee member, her industry experience is called upon to help direct both compliance and technology resources. Ms. Lanton has also served as the chairperson for multiple Compliance Forums for retail brokerage firms. As a speaker/panelist at the FINRA 2014 Annual Conference her industry experience was called upon to discuss Anti-Money Laundering and Effective Risk-Based Examinations for small firms. She was also a speaker/panelist at the FINRA 2016 Annual Conference discussing Top Regulatory Concerns. In February 2016 Ms. Lanton served as a panelist representing small firms at the Cybersecurity Conference. She has written numerous compliance-centric articles focusing on topics ranging from client suitability to cyber-security. Ms. Lanton graduated from George Washington University where she majored in International Finance. Prior to becoming a founding member of Lantern Investments, she worked for a regional bank where she managed assets for high net worth individuals and medium sized businesses.
Jessica Hopper is FINRA’s Senior Vice President of Regional Enforcement, responsible for the Department of Enforcement’s attorneys and professionals in 15 District Offices throughout the country. She oversees the nationwide disciplinary proceedings that regional Enforcement brings against broker-dealers and registered representatives for violations of FINRA’s rules.
She joined FINRA Enforcement in 2004 and served as a Director in FINRA’s Washington D.C. home office until 2011. Prior to joining FINRA, from 2000 to 2004 she was a member of the Legal & Compliance Department of Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc.’s, where her responsibilities focused on retail sales compliance issues. Earlier in her career, she was an associate at a law firm and an editor in legal publishing.
Christopher Kelly serves as the Regional Chief Counsel for the North Region of FINRA’s Enforcement Department. As Regional Chief Counsel, Mr. Kelly oversees the work of the Enforcement Staff in the Boston, New Jersey, and Philadelphia District Offices. Prior to joining FINRA, Mr. Kelly served as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. In that role, Mr. Kelly supervised more than 35 Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Office’s white collar units: Economic Crimes, National Security, Healthcare and Government Fraud, and Cybercrime.
Prior to his promotion to the position of Deputy Chief, Mr. Kelly served as the Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office, where he oversaw the Office’s prosecution of complex economic crimes, including crimes involving insider trading, securities fraud, tax evasion, bank fraud, corporate fraud and embezzlement. Mr. Kelly also served as the lead prosecutor on several complex matters, including U.S. v. Tiger Asia, one of the first ever criminal prosecutions of a hedge fund. Mr. Kelly graduated from Duke University and Harvard Law School. Prior to joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he was an associate at the law firm Dechert LLP. Mr. Kelly also clerked for the Honorable Joseph E. Irenas, U.S. District Court Judge for the District of New Jersey.
Meredith Cordisco, Esq.
Meredith Cordisco is Associate General Counsel with FINRA’s Office of General Counsel. In this capacity, she provides legal guidance on policy initiatives, rule changes and interpretations in various areas, including regarding new issues and spinning, private securities transactions and outside business activities. Before joining FINRA, Ms. Cordisco was counsel in the Securities Litigation and Enforcement group at WilmerHale, where she focused her practice on complex securities enforcement investigations. Ms. Cordisco received her B.S., summa cum laude, in International Business and French from Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland, and her J.D., summa cum laude, and M.B.A., cum laude, from Villanova University. Following her studies, Ms. Cordisco clerked for the Honorable Eduardo C. Robreno on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
David Greene is District Director of FINRA’s Los Angeles District 2 Office. He served in the same role at NASD before its 2007 consolidation with NYSE Member Regulation, which resulted in the formation of FINRA. In his capacity as District Director, Mr. Greene oversees the sales practice oversight process of FINRA-regulated securities firms based in District 2, as well their employees, with responsibility for ongoing surveillance, examinations and investigations. In January 2000, Mr. Greene joined FINRA (then NASD) as a regional counsel for FINRA’s Enforcement Department, and was based in the Los Angeles District Office. For two-and-a-half years preceding his appointment as Director, Mr. Greene served as the Deputy Regional Chief Counsel, FINRA Enforcement Western Region, where his responsibilities included managing enforcement attorneys in FINRA district offices of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver and Seattle; developing and overseeing FINRA’s national non-summary proceedings programs; as well as his own enforcement docket. Among the significant cases Mr. Greene handled were those involving mutual fund share classes, gifts and gratuities, market timing, brokered certificates of deposit, sales practice violations and operational compliance issues.
Prior to joining FINRA, Mr. Greene was associated with a law firm in Los Angeles for 10 years. Mr. Greene received his undergraduate degree from Pepperdine University and his law degree from Southwestern University School of Law. Mr. Greene is licensed to practice law in California, and is admitted to practice before various federal courts. He is an executive committee liaison of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Business & Corporations Law Section and is frequently a speaker at securities industry events. Mr. Greene is also designated as a Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional™ through the FINRA Institute at Wharton.
Laura Trotz is District Director of the Chicago District Office of FINRA. In her role as District Director, Ms. Trotz is responsible for overseeing District’s Surveillance and Examination programs. She has more than 20 years of experience in the securities industry and has been with the Chicago District Office for 18 years; previously, as an Associate District Director responsible for managing the District’s cycle and cause examination programs, Examination Manager responsible for managing a team of examiners for the cycle, cause and membership programs and as an examiner conducting cycle and cause examinations of member firms. Ms. Trotz received her B.A. in Finance from Illinois Benedictine College and holds the Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional™ certificate from the FINRA Institute at Wharton.
Rich Link is Edward Jones’ chief compliance officer, responsible for the overall performance of the Compliance division. Since January 2016, he has served on the Edward Jones Management Committee. Mr. Link began his Edward Jones career in 1989 in the Operations division, since then, has worked in a number of leadership positions throughout the firm. He was named a principal with the firm in 2001. Mr. Link is a 1989 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a major in marketing. In addition, he holds an MBA from Maryville University and in 2007 completed the FINRA Institute at Wharton's Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional™ program. He is a member of the FINRA Compliance Advisory Committee, a member of the SIFMA C&L Executive Committee and has represented Edward Jones in the past by serving as chairman of the FINRA District 4 Committee.
Brian Curtis is Global Head of Anti-Money Laundering for BNY Mellon’s Pershing, as well as the Head of Compliance for Pershing’s Florida Regional Office. In his role, Mr. Curtis is responsible for overseeing all areas of Pershing’s Global AML Program including Surveillance and Investigations, Sanctions Compliance, and Suspicious Activity Monitoring and Reporting. Prior to his current position, Mr. Curtis led Pershing’s KYC Program where he managed a team responsible for the initial due diligence and ongoing risk monitoring of Pershing’s clients globally.
Before joining Pershing, Mr. Curtis was Chief Compliance Officer and Chief AML Officer for Newbridge Securities Corporation and Newbridge Financial Services Group. He also had a successful career as a Compliance Specialist in FINRA’s Regional Florida District Office, where he led numerous examinations focused on compliance and Anti-Money Laundering programs as well as participating in key regulatory initiatives. Mr. Curtis has held leadership positions as an industry consultant focusing on key regulatory initiatives for Broker-Dealers, Registered Investment Advisers, and CFTC Registrants. Mr. Curtis maintains a B.A.A. from Central Michigan University, an MBA from Florida Atlantic University, various FINRA licenses, and is an active FINRA Arbitrator.
Becki LaPorte is Vice President and AML Compliance Officer for Advisor Group. The four broker-dealers that comprise Advisor Group are FSC Securities, Royal Alliance Associates, SagePoint Financial and Woodbury Financial Services. Advisor Group is one of the largest networks of independent broker-dealers in the United States. Ms. LaPorte’s team is responsible for reviewing and investigating activity across the financial crime spectrum including AML, fraud, and account intrusion. Prior to Advisor Group, Ms. LaPorte served as an Associate Director and Lead Compliance Trainer for FINRA. She developed and delivered training to FINRA examiners and investigators. She also provided guidance and consultation on open examinations and investigations specific to fraud and AML. She possesses nearly 20 years of financial services experience. She is a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and a Certified Financial Crime Specialist (CFCS). She also serves as a member of the ACFCS Advisor Board.
Blake Snyder is Director for FINRA’s AML Investigative Unit, which consists of a specialized team of examination staff that conduct complex Anti-Money Laundering examinations. The AMLIU’s other functions include providing guidance to FINRA examination and Enforcement staff in connection with examinations and investigations; providing training to FINRA staff throughout the country; and providing education and training to the industry on AML issues. Mr. Snyder assists in developing FINRA’s AML-related priorities and serves as a Regulatory Specialist within FINRA in the areas of AML, fraud and financial crime. Mr. Snyder holds the Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional™ (CRCP™) designation, and graduated from Florida State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance. Mr. Snyder works from FINRA’s Florida District Office, and has been with FINRA for 17 years.