“The highest levels of performance come to people who are centered, intuitive, creative, and reflective –
people who know to see a problem as an opportunity.”
“When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something… they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.”
“Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision,
passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to completion.”
“People want guidance, not rhetoric. They need to know what the plan of action is, and how it will be implemented. They want to be given responsibility to help solve the problem and authority to act on it.”
“Yes, in all my research, the greatest leaders looked inward
and were able to tell a good story with authenticity and passion.”
“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me… You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”
Mitchell Atkins has over 26 years’ experience in the securities industry. Of this, he spent 20 years at FINRA (formerly NASD). He started his career in the industry at NASD (now known as FINRA) as an examiner trainee and worked in every role in the FINRA Member Regulation district office structure. After serving in various examiner and examination manager roles, he was appointed Associate Director in charge of the Long Island Office. In 2005, he was tasked with the startup and staffing of the Florida District Office in Boca Raton, becoming District Director. Later, he was appointed as Regional Director for FINRA’s South Region which included oversight of the Florida, Atlanta, Dallas and New Orleans district offices, overseeing the examination programs covering approximately 850 broker-dealers. Soon thereafter, he was promoted to Senior Vice President and Regional Director. In this role he served as a member of FINRA Member Regulation’s Senior Management Team. In 2013, he left a rewarding career at FINRA and founded FirstMark Regulatory Solutions.
Over twenty-six years of experience in complex regulatory environments.
While at FINRA, Mr. Atkins was a key participant in many critical corporate initiatives such as the transformation of the Member Regulation examination program in 2002 and again in 2012. He oversaw the development and initial operation of FINRA’s National Anti-Money Laundering Examination Unit which is managed from Boca Raton, Florida. Earlier in his career at NASD, Mr. Atkins led a special investigations group which handled national sweep examinations covering topics such as: day-trading and electronic trading, brokered certificates of deposit, variable contract sales, and abuses in public finance. He was designated by NASD as a national expert in the area of Mutual Funds and Variable Annuities.
In his consulting practice, Atkins focuses on complex anti-money laundering compliance projects, including AML independent testing, mandated undertakings, and expert consultation. He focuses on supervisory controls testing and development of complex supervisory systems. Additionally, he handles all types of membership applications, from simple additions of business lines to complex ownership changes.
Mr. Atkins is a graduate of the FINRA Institute at the Wharton School where he earned his designation as a Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP). He graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and an additional concentration in Accounting. He has completed the Center for Creative Leadership’s Leadership Development Program, and the FINRA Leadership Program at Wharton. He is a Newfield Certified Coach (NCC) through the Newfield Network (U.S.) in Niwot, Colorado.