Attorney/Entrepreneur - marknicholas



Currently, I am working as the CEO of Family Archival Solutions, Inc. and the National Will Registry.  After a long road of planning and development we are about to launch our product which we believe will be able to make a true difference in people's lives.

My legal background includes substantial experience in the fields of independent broker-dealers and investment advisers as well as investment companies. Through the years I have been a chief legal officer, CCO, money laundering (AML) officer, privacy officer and been primarily responsible for areas including privacy, IT and intellectual property in addition to my work with FINRA and SEC rules and regulations. Separately, I have represented artists, musicians/producers and film makers in various capacities.

I spend a great deal of time educating others in photography, law and negotiation and enjoy speaking about corporate politics, business dynamics and various legal subjects. I am certified as a Senior HR Professional, voting member of the Grammys.



Family Archival Solutions, Inc.

Responsible for the creation of a highly innovative and transformative product designed to assist families in the planning and administration of affairs in times of crisis (such as disability or death). Specific responsibilities include:

  • * Manage the establishment of partnerships and vendor relationships
  • * Oversee the research and application of probate (estate and trust) laws of all 50 states
  • * Work with development team on requirements documents, quality testing, user testing and modifications
  • * Work with potential investors, clients and media on opportunities and messaging

CHIEF COUNSEL, 2004 - 2013

Cetera Financial Group, Inc. (2010-2013)

ING U.S. Financial Services, Los Angeles, CA (2004-2010)

Responsible as part of a team of five lawyers for legal and compliance issues related to four independent broker-dealer/investment advisors and their affiliated insurance agencies. Specifically delegated as the responsible attorney for the legal subject matter areas related to compliance, operations, intellectual property, technology, advertising/social media, privacy and data security. Specific responsibilities included:

  • * Offer support and advice to multiple broker-dealers’ senior executives and compliance departments (including more than eight hundred employees and more than eight thousand registered representatives/IARs)
  • * Engage in a broad range of issues including federal and state securities laws, insurance laws, Investment Company and advisory laws, employment laws and more.
  • * Provide support for litigation matters and the handling of serious customer complaints.
  • * Work closely with the product due diligence team assisting in the review of various opportunities for distribution.
  • * Provide support for regulatory examinations and inquiries, including project management and regulatory communication.
  • * Provide education to the broker-dealers and various departments related to important regulatory or high-risk matters.
  • * Manage trademark filings.


Loomis Sayles & Company, Boston, MA

  • Responsible for all legal and compliance issues for the company’s broker-dealer.
  • Provided legal oversight and guidance for the firm’s product distribution and sales and marketing functions. Negotiate and oversee distribution and servicing arrangements (including cash referral fee programs) with financial intermediaries, broker-dealers and service providers.

  • * Worked with federal and state regulators, including the SEC, NASD and individual state securities commissions.
  • * Performed advertising review and ensured NASD compliance requirements and registration processes.
  • * Responsible for regulatory internal education and compliance training of personnel.
  • * Responsible for the implementation of the privacy and money laundering regulations.

American Century Investments/American Century Brokerage
Mountain View, CA

Responsible for brokerage and related compliance issues for broker-dealer/mutual fund complex. Part of the team creating the broker-dealer/investment adviser working with FINRA (fka, NASD) and SEC through the creation of the business unit. Responsibilities included:

  • * Participated as an executive officer (chief legal officer and chief compliance officer) overseeing creation of the retail brokerage entity and commencement of brokerage operations.
  • * Negotiated all organizational, corporate, business and distribution agreements.
  • * Oversaw all daily legal and compliance needs.
  • * Liaison with regulators and regulatory examiners from the SEC, FINRA, Federal Reserve and individual states securities commissions.
  • * Acted as primary liaison for brokerage regulatory and civil actions.
  • * Participated on the strategic and developmental committees assessing legal risk and providing legal and non-legal advice regarding business strategy and development.
  • * Established compliance and legal systems, policies, procedures and guidelines for business operations.
  • * Served on department and organizational oversight committees.

ASSOCIATE, 1993 – 1996
Drinker Biddle & Reath, Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia-based law firm engaged in advising mutual fund and brokerage clients on legal and compliance issues related to investment management operations and providing day-to-day guidance to mutual fund complexes.

  • * Negotiated and prepared complex investment company merger agreements, as well as advisory, distribution, transfer agency and distribution agreements.
  • * Reviewed advertising and sales literature, distribution and sales arrangements, trading agreements and operational and compliance procedures.
  • * Counseled Boards of Directors and provided presentations regarding legal and compliance matters.


Syracuse University College of Law, Syracuse, NY
Juris Doctor : 1993- Magna Cum Laude

Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA
B.S. Finance : 1991- Cum Laude


California (2005)

Massachusetts (2001)

Pennsylvania Bars (1994)


National Panel Speaker, National Society for Compliance Professionals, FINRA, and more
Certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR Certified)

Speaker: Law for Non-Lawyers, Art and Craft of Negotiation, Business Law Essentials

Voting Member, National Recording Academy

Formerly licensed Series 4, 7, 24, 53 and 63

Strong technical background, interpersonal and management skills

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