B. Riley Wealth Management Names Michael Markunas General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer
LOS ANGELES, January 08, 2020 – B. Riley Wealth Management, Inc., a full-service private wealth and investment services firm and subsidiary of B. Riley Financial (NASDAQ:RILY) (“B. Riley” or the “Company”), today announced the appointment of Michael Markunas as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer (“CCO”), effective January 1, 2020. Markunas assumes this position following the retirement of Jim Ritt who previously served in this dual role since August 2015.
“We are grateful to Jim for his contributions during his tenure and are pleased to welcome Michael as our incoming CCO and General Counsel,” said Philip Zanone, CEO of B. Riley Wealth Management. “Michael’s vast legal expertise and ability to adapt to a rapidly changing regulatory environment make him an invaluable asset to our business. We look forward to Michael’s leadership as we continue to focus on performing for our clients while growing our business under B. Riley Financial.”
Since joining the Company in 2016, Markunas has served as in-house counsel and CCO to various regulated entities under B. Riley Financial. In addition to his blended role with B. Riley Wealth Management, Markunas also oversees FINRA and SEC regulatory compliance and advises on legal matters as Deputy General Counsel and CCO for its investment banking affiliate, B. Riley FBR, Inc.
In 2017, B. Riley Financial completed a series of transformational transactions, including the acquisitions of Friedman, Billings and Ramsey (FBR & Co.) and Wunderlich Securities. By helping integrate these firms into B. Riley Financial’s existing infrastructure, Markunas has been integral in the Company’s evolution into a dynamic financial services platform. He also oversees all aspects of compliance between B. Riley’s regulated and non-regulated entities to ensure business synergies and interactions between the various entities comply with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
Prior to joining B. Riley, Markunas was CCO for Athene Asset Management, a division of Apollo Global Management, responsible for all aspects of ’40 Act regulatory compliance. He previously served as an attorney with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and at the Investment Company Institute (ICI), a leading global association of regulated funds, including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, closed-end funds and unit investment trusts. Markunas began his legal career in New York litigating high-profile securities class action matters related to the financial crisis and has served in a variety of management and compliance roles with firms such as Morgan Stanley, UBS, and Wells Fargo.
Markunas holds a BA in Finance and an MBA in Finance and International Economics from Loyola Marymount University. He also holds a JD from the University of San Diego, and a Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Securities and Financial Regulatory Law from Georgetown University Law Center. He has taught Corporate Finance at UC Irvine and while at Georgetown Law was a teaching assistant in an LL.M. course on Fraud and Fiduciary Duties under Federal Securities Law. Markunas is admitted to practice law in New Jersey, New York and California. In 2019, he was featured by Los Angeles Business Journal as a candidate for its annual Leaders in Law Awards.
B. Riley Wealth Management offers comprehensive financial solutions to clients through its network of over 160 experienced financial advisors across 13 states. The firm manages more than $10 billion in client assets and serves approximately 34,000 client accounts. For more information, visit www.brileywealth.com.
About B. Riley Wealth Management
B. Riley Wealth Management provides a full suite of investment management services and solutions to individuals and families, small and large businesses, non-profits, endowments and foundations, including qualified retirement plans, trusts, foundations and endowments. Our experienced financial advisors leverage the diverse resources and expertise of our affiliated network of companies to help clients create a sound financial strategy. The firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of B. Riley Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:RILY), a publicly traded, diversified financial services company. To learn more about our services and to get in touch with a financial advisor near you, visit www.brileywealth.com.
Jo Anne McCusker
B. Riley Financial