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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Add the Term Chief Legal Officer to the Definition of General Counsel

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December 19, 2012.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”)[1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on December 11, 2012, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by FINRA. FINRA has designated the proposed rule change as concerned solely with the administration of the self-regulatory organization under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act[3] and Rule 19b-4(f)(3) thereunder,[4] which renders the proposal effective upon receipt of this filing by the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

FINRA is proposing to amend to amend [sic] FINRA Rule 9120 (Definitions) to add the term “Chief Legal Officer” to the definition of “General Counsel.”

The text of the proposed rule change is available on FINRA's Web site at http://www.finra.org, at the principal office of FINRA and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

In its filing with the Commission, FINRA included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. FINRA has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.

A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

FINRA is proposing to expand the definition of General Counsel to acknowledge changes in FINRA's executive management. When FINRA adopted the Code of Procedure in 1997, it defined “General Counsel” as meaning “the General Counsel of [FINRA], or his or her delegatee, who shall be a person who reports to the General Counsel of [FINRA] * * *.”[5] Recently FINRA has appointed a Chief Legal Officer, an action that is similar to appointments made in the legal departments of other self-regulatory organizations. The proposed rule change adds the term “Chief Legal Officer” to the definition of “General Counsel.” This addition will confirm that when the Code of Procedure refers to the General Counsel, the reference includes FINRA's Chief Legal Officer and his or her delegatees.

FINRA has filed the proposed rule change for immediate effectiveness. The effective date and the implementation date will be the date of filing.

2. Statutory Basis

FINRA believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 15A(b)(8) of the Act,[6] which requires, among other things, that FINRA rules provide a fair procedure for the disciplining of members and persons associated with members, and Section 15A(b)(6) of the Act,[7] which requires, among other things, that FINRA rules must be designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, and, in general to protect investors and the public interest. The proposed rule change will confirm that the Chief Legal Officer may take certain actions that the Code of Procedure also authorizes the General Counsel to take. In making this clarification, FINRA believes that the proposed rule change will assist in the efficient administration of actions governed by the Code of Procedure. Adding the term “Chief Legal Officer” will allow the Code of Procedure to match its terms with the titles currently used by FINRA's executives. FINRA believes that the proposed rule change will, accordingly, make the Code of Procedure easier to understand and apply.

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition

FINRA does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act as the proposed rule change is concerned solely with the administration of the FINRA.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received from Members, Participants, or Others

Written comments were neither solicited nor received.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act[8] and paragraph (f)(3) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.[9] At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-FINRA-2012-054. This file number should be included on the subject line if email is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml). Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for Web site viewing and printing in the Commission's Public Reference Room, 100 F Street NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090, on official business days between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the FINRA's principal office. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-FINRA-2012-054, and should be submitted on or before January 16, 2013

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[10]

Kevin M. O'Neill,

Deputy Secretary.

Footnotes

3.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

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5.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 38908 (August 7, 1997), 62 FR 43385 (August 13, 1997) (Order Approving File No. SR-NASD-97-28).

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[FR Doc. 2012-31015 Filed 12-21-12; 4:15 pm]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P