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The new for-profit National Association of Investment Professionals (NAIP) is a re-creation of the former not-for-profit NAIP.

History of the NAIP

  1. The first not-for-profit NAIP was founded by Thomas S. O’Keefe in 1996. Soon after this Mr. O’Keefe starts writing a monthly column for Registered Rep Magazine called “From the NAIP”.
  2. One of Mr. O’Keefe’s first initiatives was to create network of employment/securities law attorneys that could assist members with problems associated with employment transitions from one firm to another and customer complaints.
  3. In June of 1997, NAIP gave a presentation to a “blue ribbon” panel that the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) had created to decide the issue of whether or not Title VII (race, age, sex) employment claims should be heard in SRO arbitration. NAIP recommended to the panel that these cases should be heard in a civil court, not in NASDR arbitration forums. Several months later the SEC ordered that new Title VII claims should be heard in a civil court.
  4. In 1999 NAIP successfully fought the approval of the proposed NASD Rule 1150 (a rule which would have made it almost impossible for a broker to sue a past employer for defamation on Form U-5). NAIP did this by initiating the first successful letter-writing campaign to the SEC by a broker organization in the history of the industry.
  5. After receiving a barrage of complaints on how the on-line trading company ads were upsetting brokers/advisors and degrading the relationships they had with their clients, NAIP filed a petition with the Federal Trade Commission to stop the egregious advertisements. Mr. O’Keefe worked with a large Washington, D.C. law firm to file the petition. Soon after that petition was filed with the FTC, the disparaging ads stopped. NAIP’s petition was seemingly more effective than the meager efforts the NASDR took to stop the ads. Furthermore, filing the petition gave NAIP valuable free positive publicity with large media organizations like CNN, the Associated Press, and The Washington Post.
  6. The following year NAIP was given the Award of Excellence in the Legal/Legislative Category by the Midwest Society of Association Executives for his aforementioned work in stopping the disparaging on-line trading ads.
  7. NAIP has formally commented on and lobbied both Congress and the SEC on matters like the industry-run arbitration system, the CRD system, and the use of temporary restraining orders. NAIP was invited to participate at the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) in September of 2001.
  8. NAIP lobbied Congress to insert whistle-blowing protections in 2001-02.
  9. NAIP fought for years to stop brokerage firms from filing TRO’s against brokers as they moved from one firm to another. In 2004 many of the large firms started adopting the Protocol for Broker Recruiting. This protocol established ground rules for broker transitions and significantly reduced the number of TRO’s in the industry.
  10. In the summer of 2003 Thomas O’Keefe, the founder and current president of NAIP was asked to testify to the NYSE’s Governance Committee on how to improve the NYSE’s governance. In April of 2004 Mr. O’Keefe, the founder and current president of NAIP was nominated to the Board of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). In August he was informed by the NYSE that he is one of 40 individuals chosen by the Exchange for consideration in serving on their Board of Directors and/or Advisory Committees.
  11. NAIP submitted formal Comment Letters to both the SEC and NASD on every major proposed regulation that affects individual investment professionals during its ten year history. No other organization in the history of the U.S. securities industry has done this - until NAIP took the initiative starting in 1996. Copies of Comment Letters to the SEC and NASDR may be provided upon request.
  12. 2006 Mr. O’Keefe resigned from the Board of NAIP. Soon after NAIP was dissolved as a not-for-profit.
  13. 2009 NAIP was re-started as a for-profit entity by its founder Thomas S. O’Keefe

For now, NAIP will not be responding to request for comments from regulatory bodies. Instead we will for focus on the following:

  1. A public front page Blog that post pertinent and current articles and opinion to help those working in the industry
  2. A For Members Only Area. This area of the website will provide members with the following:
  • A list of qualified employment/securities lawyers that will give members a free initial consultation and a ten percent discount off their hourly fees.
  • Discounted hourly rate for the coaching services of the “Stock Doc”, Dr. Alden Cass who is a well-known psychologist/performance coach specializing in helping financial advisers improve their performance. A Community Board that is for members only. This board will allow members to exchange information anonymously on what is happening at their firms
  • In the near future we hope to also provide our members with discounted Errors and Omissions insurance
  • On an ad hoc basis we plan to organize letter writing campaigns to our Congressional representatives on issues that members are passionate about with this caveat – members may be asked to donate separately for those campaigns

My hope is that NAIP will become a catalyst for developing awareness and understanding of issues affecting persons working in the financial services industry. I believe it is through this understanding financial advisers can begin to make informed decisions that will help not only those who work in the industry but the investing public at large. The NAIP Blog will post articles from a variety of media sources that address financial market regulation, legal and employment related issues.

As this site matures we hope that our policy analysis will be done by a professionals in the industry, lawyers who specialize in employment/securities law, and academics. I also hope that our members will contribute data and opinion to this effort, since policy analysis is only as good as the data it analyzes. We will post articles and research that will achieve this objective on our blog.

NAIP differs from other finance sites because it focuses on opinion and analysis rather than just news, and provides tools and services to its members to help them grow and protect their business.

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