Karen Aavik


Chief Compliance Officer

Stratos Wealth Partners


Karen is the Chief Compliance Officer of Stratos Wealth Partners; she is also a member of Stratos’ Executive Committee. As CCO, Karen oversees all brokerage and advisory compliance matters for Stratos, focusing on ensuring that its advisers, partners, and staff operate in accordance with SEC and FINRA rules and requirements.

Karen began her compliance career 20 years ago. Before joining Stratos she served as an Enterprise Risk Officer at Wells Fargo, where she helped establish the goals, priorities and strategy of the Enterprise Testing Training Program Office. Prior to that Karen was a Compliance Executive with KeyBank, N.A., where she led a compliance team that provided support for, and oversight of, numerous bank- and investment-side lines of business, functions and disciplines across the organization. She was the Wealth Management Compliance Officer, the Ethics Officer and the Privacy Officer for First Niagara Financial Group, and an Assistant General Counsel in the First Niagara Legal Department. Karen also held a number of embedded and oversight compliance risk roles in support of the Investment Group of M&T Bank.

Karen holds a J.D., LL.M. with Honors and M.B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and is a member of the New York State Bar. She has the CCEP, CFE, CAMS, and NRS IACCP® designations; earned the CIPP/US, CIPP/E, CIPT, and CIPM privacy credentials; and is FINRA Series 4, 7, 24, 53, and 63 licensed. Karen has contributed to articles regarding cybersecurity requirements within the investment industry and authored the “Compliance in a Bank Investment Program Environment” chapter of Modern Compliance: Best Practices for Securities & Finance (Vol. 2). She was featured in the January 2018 edition of Compliance & Ethics Professional Magazine, and currently serves as an Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Financial Compliance.


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