Leigh Wittick

Leigh Wittick

Leigh Wittick is an Affiliate Regulatory & Compliance Consultant with the Bates Group.  She founded Piper Compliance (previously Leigh W. Vazquez, LLC) in 2009 to provide broker-dealer consulting services, including AML independent testing, trading and market making audits, FINRA-required annual testing, advertising review, continuing education services, registration, risk assessments and annual compliance meetings.  Leigh also provides assistance with FINRA Membership Applications and Continuing Membership Applications.  Other services include ongoing compliance consulting and serving as a liaison for FINRA/State/SEC examinations for clients conducting activities in equities, municipals, mergers and acquisitions, private placements, underwriting, options, market making, proprietary trading and institutional fixed income.

Prior to starting her own company, Leigh was Managing Director of ACA Compliance Group’s Broker­-Dealer Services Division in Boca Raton, Florida, beginning in 2006.  She was responsible for the following:

  • Managing operations for financial services consulting firm, which includes regulatory compliance and operations consulting, preparation and electronic filing of regulatory reports such as:  Focus reports, Forms BD and BR, customer complaints, Forms U4 and U5, and advertising.
  •  Broker Dealer and Registered Investment Advisor set-up and registration.  The BDs include private placement, M&A, retail, institutional, equity and corporate debt.  This included but was not limited to preparation of Written Supervisory Procedures; Business Plan; Continuing Education Plan; net capital computation; Form BD; Form U4; Form NMA; Business Continuity Plan, CRD entitlements; SEC Registration; Fidelity Bond Coverage, etc. RIAs included State- and SEC-registered entities
  • Creating and conducting continuing education, annual compliance meetings, and other requested training.
  •  Conducting trade reporting reviews (OATS, RTRS, Blue Sheets and TRACE).
  • Conducting and managing mock regulatory audits, AML reviews, and trading and market making reviews.
  • Creating and maintaining written supervisory procedures for all product lines including private placements, M&A, mutual funds, underwriting, equity and debt, municipals, options, proprietary trading firms, and market making, codes of ethics, etc.
  • Advising on firm’s funding, financials, and 12-month pro-formas.

From 2003 to 2006, Leigh was the Managing Director of BISYS Regulatory Services ("BRS") where she consulted on regulatory compliance issues, preparation and electronic filing of regulatory reports, and registration requirements for Broker-Dealers and Registered Investment Advisers. Some of her responsibilities include the following:

  • Regulatory consulting for new broker-dealer set-ups (NASD Rule 1017), preparing FINRA business plans, written supervisory procedures, and Continuing education plans. These broker-dealers include private placements, M&A, mutual fund wholesalers, fully disclosed broker-dealers ranging from general securities to firm commitment underwriting, proprietary trading, market making and consulting for new and existing RIAs. Attended Membership Interviews with new applicants.
  • Processed and managed all Rule 1018 Continuance Membership Applications, including but not limited to; option upgrades, municipal upgrades, underwriting upgrades, limited to fully-disclosed upgrades, limited to self-clearing, ownership changes (purchases), and mergers.
  • Responsible for continuing education needs analysis/training plan program, preparing formal continuing education plans for all types and sizes of BD and RIA firms, including private placement, M&A, trading and market making, MSRB, institutional and retail.
  • Conducted branch audits and participated in numerous field reviews of operations and practices of various BDs and RIAs.
  • Assisted firms with FINRA and SEC regulatory responses resulting from examinations and investigations.
  • Prepared and maintained written supervisory procedures for all types of firms.
  • Responsible for the State Registration Department at BRS, that included assisting firms that had previously done business in states they were not registered, set up procedures to keep that from happening in the future, as well as successfully obtaining the firm’s registration in the state, thereby eliminating fines and censures.

Between 2001 and 2003, Leigh was Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer for Bankoh Investment Services, Bank of Hawaii's broker-dealer.  As Chief Compliance Officer she developed supervisory procedures for all product lines including, private placements, variable and fixed annuities, life insurance, mutual funds, municipals, and options.  Leigh also reviewed transactions for suitable product sales to customers, monitored for patterns of activity such as switching and 1035 exchanges and conducted training on products for the registered representatives and operations staff.  She managed all branch office examinations and reports and also served as a liaison to Bank of Hawaii’s internal audit department for SEC, FDIC and FINRA audits.

In 2000, Leigh was the Trading Supervision Manager for W.R. Hambrecht in San Francisco. While with W.R. Hambrecht, she was responsible for supervising the market making, listed, options, and institutional sales trading desks. She also managed compliance and regulatory reviews, procedures, advertising and other communications while monitoring daily trading activity and sales reports.

Leigh began her regulatory career in 1998 as an Associate Examiner with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA") (f/k/a NASD) in the San Francisco District Office.  During her tenure as a regulator, Leigh conducted on-site audits of securities firms, monitored compliance with federal securities laws and FINRA/Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) rules and regulations. She also advised regulated entities on procedures to conduct securities operations while maintaining compliance with appropriate regulations.


Credentials

EXPERIENCE

ACA Compliance GroupManaging Director - Broker Dealer Services, 2006

BISYS Regulatory Services (BRS)Managing Director, 2003 - 2006

Bankoh Investment ServicesVice President and Chief Compliance Officer, 2001 - 2003

W.R. HambrechtTrading Supervision Manager, 2000 - 2001

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)Associate Examiner, 1998 - 2000

EDUCATION

Stetson UniversityB.B.A. General Economics, 1995

Crummer Graduate School of Business at Rollins College, MBA with a concentration in Finance, 1998

Automat:ee