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FINRA Fines Rodman & Renshaw for Supervisory & Information Barrier Violations

FINRA fined Rodman & Renshaw LLC $315,000 for supervisory and other violations related to the interaction between the firm’s research and investment banking functions.  Rodman is a New York based broker-dealer that provides investment banking services to private and public companies, as well as research, sales, and trading services to institutional investors.  FINRA also sanctioned Rodman’s former COO, William A. Iommi, Sr., with a fine of $15,000 and a suspension from acting in a principal capacity for 90 days.  Two research analysts were fined $10,000 respectively, for participating in efforts to solicit investment banking business.

According to FINRA, from January 2008 through March 15, 2012, Rodman failed to establish, maintain, and enforce supervisory and compliance procedures to monitor potential conflicts of interest between research and investment banking.  As a result of these deficiencies, Rodman failed to prevent research analysts from engaging in the solicitation of investment banking business, and failed to prevent a member engaged in investment banking activities from having influence or control over research analysts’ evaluations or compensation.  Furthermore, FINRA found that a research analyst was compensated for his contribution to Rodman’s investment banking business.

FINRA stated, “The deficiencies in Rodman’s supervisory system created an environment in which the conflict of interest between research and investment banking was left unmanaged.  FINRA will continue to ensure that firms have adequate supervisory systems tailored to the firm’s business and we will continue to sanction firms that demonstrate a weak culture of compliance and internal controls.”

Without admitting or denying the allegations, Rodman, Iommi, and the two research analysts agreed to the sanctions and consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings.