Scottsdale, Arizona-based First Financial Equity Corporation (First Financial) and the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer (CCO), Melissa Ann Strouse, were named in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) complaint alleging that the firm failed to establish and maintain a proper supervisory system with respect to the appropriateness of fee-based accounts and the monitoring of accounts for potential churning and excessive trading. Melissa Strouse was named in FINRA’s complaint amidst allegations that as the firm’s CCO, she was responsible for ensuring the firm’s compliance with supervisory procedures.
According to the FINRA complaint, First Financial Equity had inadequate written supervisory procedures (WSPs) with respect to the appropriateness of fee-based accounts for the firm’s customers and had no system in place to address situations where excessive fees may have been charged. Further, the Complaint alleges that First Financial failed to maintain and enforce a supervisory system related to its options business and that the firm allegedly had no WSPs for the supervision, approval and sale of exchange-traded funds (ETFs). For her part, the Complaint alleges that Melissa Strouse failed to ensure that the WSPs covered all required areas and were amended as needed. Continue reading →