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BrokerCheck: Good Service That’s Gotten into the Wrong Hands

April 10, 2017

Stephen Kohn wrote a guest column on Bill Singer’s web site that addresses what he sees as a serious flaw in the FINRA BrokerCheck program. That statement might surprise and elicit the question: If ‘it ain’t broke’, why fix it?


Well, according to Mr. Kohn, who’s been in the business 32 years – the last 21 years running Stephen A. Kohn & Associates – 'it is broke' because of an embedded flaw in the search function. This flaw is so serious that Mr. Kohn sees it as imperiling the existence of small broker-dealers.


As Mr. Kohn notes, while BrokerCheck Disclosure provides the public with an effective way to investigate their investment professional’s background, updates to the program have unintentionally provided recruiters and large firms with a tool to search for brokers. This has enabled others to pursue the digital equivalent of a raid on their smaller competitors.” The search tool is so effective that he considers it a threat to his firm's very existence.


WHAT CAN BE DONE?    Cutting to the chase, Mr. Kohn sees the following simple 'fix' or solution: Just remove the zip code search from the "individual" tab, leaving it on the "firm" tab only.


[Click below link to continue reading.]