NIBA makes NFA endorsements

December 18, 2014 07:00 AM

Introducing brokers (IBs) and commodity trading advisors (CTAs) join the National Introducing Brokers Association (NIBA) for many reasons. One of the most important is to remain current on issues that impact the day-to-day operation of our businesses. The National Futures Association (NFA) impacts every aspect of our business. That is the main reason it is important to have representatives that stand up for us, and contribute valuable insight, recommendations and methods to the regulatory process.

This NFA election is only the second time Board positions have been contested. The NIBA Board of Directors (BoD) believes the trend will continue, and contested elections will become the norm. As a result, NIBA members have asked the BoD to make recommendations for the contested positions. 

This is the first time in our history that the NIBA has recommended nominees for NFA Board positions. To ensure the recommendations accurately reflect members’ opinions, BoD members (excluding non-registrants and FCM members) voted.

The BoD reviewed the industry records of the candidates, relied on members’ experiences and the NFA Nominating Committee nominations, and, in addition to their current position papers, gave considerable weight to the statements of the candidates themselves at NIBA member meetings held in September 2013 and 2014. 

An NFA representative doesn’t only attend Board of Directors meetings a few times a year. The position includes committee assignments and attending numerous meetings with NFA staff. To be effective, the NFA rep must be well prepared, and his/her opinion must be respected by the NFA staff and the other members of the NFA Board.

Most importantly, our NFA representatives must be responsive to us - their constituency.  

Next IIB endorsement 

The Board of Directors (BoD) of the NIBA recommends the following nominee for the contested IIB position on the NFA Board of Directors:

For IIB: Michael Burke, HighGround Trading LLC

As a 25-year veteran of the futures industry, Mike has the experience and the ability to contribute significantly to the NFA Board of Directors. He has served the futures community on the NIBA BoD for 15 years, first as an FCM representative, and for the past six years as an owner of an IIB. He has no disciplinary history.

Members know Mike as an outspoken advocate for IBs and for the industry as a whole. This year alone, he co-chaired the NIBA Committee which opposed the CME market data fees changes, and he contributed to the NIBA position papers on CFTC phone taping requirements and CFTC “residual interest” rules. He served on the New York and Chicago NIBA member meeting committees. Mike is the current Vice-President of the NIBA Board of Directors - a volunteer position. 

Mike’s IIB conducts business in a traditional, retail way - the same way most IB members of the NIBA conduct business. He understands that many NIBA members are still suffering the effects of the MF Global and Peregrine failures, and he will work for further customer and broker protections. He is a CPA, which will help him understand and manage the NFA budget. Mike is also the IIB Nominating Committee’s choice.

NIBA BoD members know that Mike can work well with a team, and with our GIB representative to accomplish much. 

The NIBA BoD supports Mike Burke for the contested IIB position.

Next CTA/CPO endorsement 

The Board of Directors (BoD) of the NIBA recommend the following nominees for the two contested CTA/CPO positions on the NFA Board of Directors:

For CTA/CPO: John Roe, Roe Capital Management, Inc.

For CTA/CPO: James Koutoulas, Typhon Capital Management LLC

John Roe and James Koutoulas submitted their position paper together - as a team. Therefore, we are evaluating them as a team.

John and James have contributed significantly to the NFA Board of Directors during their first two-year term. Additionally, both have attended NIBA conferences as Association members and on request, as members of the Annual NFA-Representative panel review held each September at the NIBA Chicago conference. Neither has a disciplinary history.

John and James have held ‘town-hall’ meetings to elicit comments, suggestions and recommendations from CTA/CPOs with regard to NFA actions, and are outspoken advocates for their registration category.

Both John and James conduct their businesses similarly to the majority of NIBA members who are registered as CTAs and/or CPOs. This is significant for our members because smaller and mid-size firms must continue to be represented on the NFA Board.

John and James have, together and separately, worked well with other members of the NFA Board, and they have been responsive to NIBA inquiries.

The NIBA BoD supports John Roe and James Koutoulas for re-election as CTA/CPO representatives.


The FCM Category has no contested positions, but the NIBA BoD notes that both Rosenthal Collins Group, LLC and KCG Futures have been longtime supporters and members of the NIBA. 


The SD/MSP/RFED Category has no contest positions.