Ben A. Indek focuses his practice on representing broker-dealers and their executives in US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) investigations and conducting internal investigations. Ben also counsels clients on regulatory and compliance issues, with a particular emphasis on assisting firms in evaluating their self-reporting obligations under FINRA Rule 4530(b), and acts as counsel to several self-reporting committees. Ben has experience with respect to all aspects of Form U4, Form U5, and Form BD filing requirements and regularly provides firms with guidance on their regulatory filing obligations.
As a former compliance officer, Ben has a deep understanding of the role of such professionals at broker-dealers, and he has a long and successful track record of representing compliance officers and in-house lawyers in SEC and FINRA matters.
Chambers USA reports that Ben, who has been ranked since 2008, is described by securities industry insiders as “always prepared, measured and unflappable, even in difficult situations”; having a “very strong” regulatory enforcement practice with “a style that goes down well with regulators”; and “one of the smartest and most effective attorneys to hire when dealing with complex regulatory matters.”
Ben is the driving force behind the firm’s co-sponsorship of the annual A.A. Sommer, Jr. Lecture on Corporate, Securities, and Financial Law at Fordham University School of Law, which over the last 20 years has featured SEC chairs, commissioners, and directors of the SEC Division of Enforcement. Ben speaks regularly at SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society seminars, including moderating a main-stage panel featuring the SEC’s director of Enforcement, FINRA’s head of Enforcement, and the president of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).
An author of many articles on broker-dealer regulation and enforcement issues, in 2006 Ben developed the firm’s annual publication “Select SEC and FINRA Broker-Dealer Cases and Developments”; he continues to be the lead author of the current version of that publication. Ben co-authored an amicus brief filed on with the SEC behalf of the National Society of Compliance Professionals with the SEC in connection with In the Matter of Theodore Urban.
From 1984 to 1987, Ben served as a compliance officer for E.F. Hutton & Co. where, among other duties, he managed the company’s surveillance program. During his tenure at Morgan Lewis, he has served on the FINRA Independent Dealer/Insurance Affiliate Committee, the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Market Regulation Committee, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Electronic Communications Task Force, and the National Society of Compliance Professionals (NSCP) board of directors.
Ben is the leader of the New York office’s litigation practice. He previously served eight years as co-managing partner of the New York office, and was chair of the firm’s Audit Committee and a member of the Advisory Board. Ben was also the leader of the securities enforcement and litigation practice for several years.
Ben currently serves on the board of directors of Legal Services NYC, a nonprofit that helps low-income New Yorkers meet their basic needs for housing, access to high-quality education, healthcare, family stability, and income and economic security.
Representations of broker-dealers and their employees in SEC and FINRA investigations include matters in the following areas:
Off-channel communications on personal devices
Supervision of employee outside brokerage accounts
529 college savings plans
Supervision of concentrated positions (including high-yield bonds)
Large options positions reporting (LOPR)
Electronic blue sheet reporting
Write once, read many (WORM) compliance, including record maintenance, retention, and audit requirements
Anti-money laundering laws, rules, and regulations
Electronic communications supervision and retention
SEC customer reserve formula and possession/control provisions
Municipal bond disclosures to investors and underwriting expenses
Structured and complex products sold to retail clients, including sales practices and supervision relating to leveraged and inverse exchange traded funds (ETFs) and non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Algorithmic and high-frequency trading
Mutual fund share class selection, suitability, supervision, and recordkeeping
Unit investment trust suitability and supervision
Operational issues, including prospectus delivery and proxy voting
Research report disclosures
Registration and customer complaint reporting issues, including Form U4/U5 filings
Order marking requirements, including origin codes on options orders