Mr. Blascovich is a Managing Director for Bates Group and is based in Atlanta. He is available to consult or testify nationwide as an expert witness in financial service disputes involving broker-dealers, registered representatives, SEC and state registered investment advisors, independents, qualified custodians, and investors regarding a wide range of supervisory, compliance, sales practice and employment issues--including wrongful termination, Form U-5 defamation and related damage claims. He has served as a SEC-mandated "Independent Consultant" and is available to conduct independent compliance reviews for RIAs, broker-dealers and other financial institutions.
Mr. Blascovich also uses his extensive financial services, corporate governance, litigation and employment experience to provide testimony regarding fiduciary duties, “breakaway broker” and advisor disputes, whistleblowing allegations, corporate and network security matters and fraud claims, including fraud allegations arising from private security transactions, “selling” or “buying away,” and “outside business activities.”
Before joining Bates Group, Mr. Blascovich served as Deputy General Counsel, Assistant Corporate Secretary and Senior Vice President for E*TRADE Financial Corporation. While at E*TRADE, Mr. Blascovich sat on the company’s global Enterprise Risk Management Committee, Chaired the Legal-Compliance Risk Management Subcommittee, and served on the company’s Business Continuity, Fraud Prevention, and Information Technology Steering committees. During his ten years with the online broker-dealer and bank, Mr. Blascovich managed global litigation--including all retail and industry arbitration claims brought before FINRA; headed the company’s Corporate Safety & Security department, which included both Network Security and Fraud Investigations; and helped implement the company’s Advertising Review, Business Continuity, Code of Conduct, Financial Reporting & Disclosure, Privacy, Records Management, Whistleblowing and other compliance policies and procedures.
Prior to joining E*TRADE, Mr. Blascovich served as Deputy Regional Counsel and First Vice President for Prudential Securities Incorporated in San Francisco. At Prudential Securities, Mr. Blascovich personally defended financial advisors, branch managers and the company in retail securities arbitrations brought by customers before the NASD (now “FINRA”), NYSE, Pacific Exchange and American Arbitration Association. He also handled related sales practice and supervisory inquiries from SROs, federal and state regulators; evaluated customer complaints; conducted internal reviews; litigated employment disputes and drafted Forms U-4, U-5 and RE-3.
Mr. Blascovich was a frequent instructor at Prudential’s captive university for new financial advisors (“FAITs”) and lectured on a variety of compliance topics, including new account documentation, the “know your customer” rule, suitability, fiduciary duties and other sales practice issues.
A trial lawyer, Mr. Blascovich began his legal career as a Deputy District Attorney for the County of Sacramento and later served as an Acting Deputy Attorney General for the State of California, handling appeals to the Third and Fifth District Courts of Appeal and California Supreme Court. Between the time he began his career as a Deputy District Attorney in Sacramento and subsequently joined Prudential Securities, Mr. Blascovich was a trial lawyer in San Francisco, primarily handling professional malpractice litigation.
EXPERT ENGAGEMENTS AND TESTIMONY
Mr. Blascovich has been engaged as an expert witness or regulatory and compliance consultant more than 100 times since 2012 and has testified nationwide more than 25 times in a wide range of disputes before FINRA and AAA, in federal and state court cases, and in state disciplinary proceedings (administrative hearings) on behalf of broker-dealers, registered representatives, SEC and state registered investment advisors, independents, qualified custodians and investors.
Arbitrator: FINRA, 1993-present (Chair-Qualified)
Arbitrator: NASD, NYSE and Pacific Exchange (Chair-Qualified)
Foley & Lardner presentation, “The President’s Executive Order on Employee Non-Compete Agreements,” 2021
Panelist, “Current and Future Employment Issues: What to Expect Going Forward.” CLE webinar presented by Bates Group regarding employment issues in financial services post-Covid, featuring industry employment and human resources experts, 2021
Panelist, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who,” a NYCLA Securities and Exchange Committee presentation regarding best practices in remote hearings, featuring speakers from FINRA, Bates Group, Stradley Ronon, and Interactive Brokers, Zoom, 2020.
Investment Adviser Association Annual Compliance Conference, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018
Investment Adviser Association "Members Briefing, The Regulatory Landscape for 2014"
FINRA Annual Conference, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
SIFMA Compliance & Legal Society Annual Seminar, 2004, 2012, 2013
Financial Women’s Association, “A Conversation with Richard Ketchum, CEO, FINRA,” 2012
SIFMA Cyber Security Conference, 2012
Speaker, S.I.A. Fall Conference re “Supervision”, 2001
Speaker, American Conference Institute 5th National Institute re “Securities Trading on the Internet”, 2001
State Bar of California, 1982-present
Corporate Counsel, Virginia State Bar, 2006-2010
J.D., McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, Sacramento, California, 1982
B.A., Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, Illinois, 1976
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