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Equity Options & Futures Expert Witness

Options Expert Witness| Futures Expert Witness

Paul Carlson Options Expert Witness

Paul W. Carlson, M.B.A.

Paul W. Carlson has over 30 years of experience in the financial services industry with special expertise in stock options and financial futures. He has extensive experience as a former futures trader and member of the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) and as options risk manager at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE).

Mr. Carlson’s deep experience with market data systems as it relates to interaction with Securities Industry Automated Corporation (SIAC), Options Price Reporting Authority (OPRA), Options Clearing Corporation, (OCC) and various data /trading systems platforms provides a unique perspective in situations involving order execution and systems availability. Additionally, Mr. Carlson has vast experience with SPAN margin, including inter and intra market spreads.  

As a stock options and financial futures Expert Witness and Litigation Support Consultant, Mr. Carlson provides unbiased verbal opinions and written reports for both Claimants and Respondents for FINRA Arbitrations, depositions,  mediations,  and court settings. He speaks with proficiency and precision and his expert opinions on options, futures, and risk management are founded upon his years of industry experience through the understanding of industry rules, the standards of professional conduct, and the code of  ethics for the brokerage, investment management, and financial futures industries.

Mr. Carlson has successfully completed the following FINRA and NFA examinations:*

  • National Futures Association (NFA) Series 3  | National Commodities Futures

  • FINRA Series 4 | Registered Securities Principal

  • FINRA Series 7 | General Securities Principal

  • FINRA Series 53 | Municipal Securities Principal

  • FINRA Series 63 | Uniform Securities Agent

  • FINRA Series 65 | Uniform Investment Adviser

           *No longer registered or affiliated with FINRA or the National Futures Association (NFA) as a Principal, Registered Representative, or Commodities Representative

Professional Experience


  • Barrington Financial Consulting Group, Inc. - Expert Consultant (2022 - Present)

    • Provide objective / unbiased expert opinion, expert testimony and case consulting for defense or plaintiff cases regarding securities, fixed income supervisory, futures, options supervisory and fiduciary duty​​


  • Gunderson Capital Management Inc. (Southport Capital acquired May 9, 2021) - Senior Registered Investment Advisor / Co-Portfolio Manager (2019 – 2021)

    • Managed fixed income portfolio valued in excess of 5 million AUM (assets under management)

    • Executed Securities, Options and Fixed Income transactions

    • Audited client account accounts to “true up” to model portfolio(s) with total accounts AUM of 250M

    • Analyzed and explained account performance to clients

    • Provided client service with regards to inquiries into holdings and strategy of unconstrained accounts

    • Reviewed and explained holdings of clients, both internal and external to the firm


  • College of Charleston - Budget Analyst (2017 - 2018)

    • Performed budget transfer general ledger entries

    • Prepared crystal reports for budget to actual analysis (variance)

    • Ensure financials are prepared timely, reviewed, and finalized monthly according to GASB standards

    • Prepared pivot tables/charts of labor and benefits costs for presentation to CFO


  • Charleston County School District - (Budget Analyst) (2016 - 2017) 

    • Performed ad hoc requests such as researching and presenting high-level variance analysis and expense trends by source to the Budget Director & the Director of Finance​​

    • Performed budget transfer general ledger entries

    • Prepared crystal reports for budget to actual analysis both at the district level and by location/funding source

    • Prepared pivot tables/charts of labor and benefits costs


  • Carlson Enterprises - Founder/Principal | Trader (2011 - 2016)

    • Options and Futures Trader and Risk Manager

  • Thinkorswim | Division of TD Ameritrade - Head of Futures and Fixed Income / Senior Specialist Retail Trading (2006 - 2011)

    • Specialist and expert of complex options strategies. Educated clients and colleagues on options trading strategies / risk management

    • Liaise with compliance and satisfied audits by FINRA and MSRB

    • Supervisor Fixed Income / Bond Execution Operations (Municipal Securities Principal, Series 53).  Oversight of Bond Trading by three Registered Representatives for Compliance of Trade Executions, Reporting and Entry into Clearing.

    • Supervisor Futures Trading Operations.  Responsible for Risk Management, Margins, Clearing Records / Trade Reconciliation through Relationship with Penson/GHCO; Educating and Monitoring over 25 Registered Representatives and educated Reps on product offerings

  • Member Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) - Independent Trader / Owner (2002-2005)

    • Options and futures trader / market maker in gold and silver futures

    • Treasury yield curve trader (NOB, FOB, etc.)

  • Syntegra (British Telecom) Trading Room Systems - Regional Manager (2000-2001)

    • Managed operations and regional relationships with trading rooms from large firms to exchange trading floors

    • Presented benefits of moving to VoIP and computer telephony integration

  • AT-Financial (division of Thomson Financial) Market Data for Trading Systems - Account Executive (1997-2000)

    • Responsible for business development, increasing streams of revenue in excess of 35% annually

    • Created and implemented methodologies with the CFO, the National Sales and Marketing Manager to drive maximum growth of account revenue and margins

    • Prioritized and directed programmers with the respect to specifications as they relate to solving client issues and securing new business

    • Trained clients, audited software licensing and executed exchange reporting compliance

  • Kessler Asher Clearing - Risk Manager (1996-1997)

    • Managed account opening process, financial and regulatory compliance as well as risk and systems issues through relationship with joint venture partner LIT/First Options of Chicago (FOC).

    • Managed daily operations by controlling firm exposure to risk from client’s futures, options, equities and bond positions

    • Managed corrective actions and monitored client trades

    • Trained clients on trading software applications

    • Maximized capital efficiency of proprietary accounts with daily rebalancing of funds and accessing various credit line or other sources of capital. Balanced cash by auditing all account debits and credits for interest and capital, monthly

    • Automated margin and capital usage analysis for proprietary accounts; automated new account opening procedures and modernized account processing

    • Identified and resolved client concerns ranging from interest calculations and cross margin/span requirements to A-T Financial and Microhedge options trading software questions



  • Loyola University of Chicago (1997)

    • M.B.A. Finance with International Emphasis


  • Loyola University of Chicago (1995)

    • B.B.A. Economics

Paul Carlson is retained as a Consultant & Expert Witness for the following:
  • Municipal and Other Fixed Income (Corporates and Treasuries) Supervisory Procedures
  • ARS (Auction Rate Securities)
  • Futures Operational Compliance, Introducing Brokers (IBs), and Managed Futures by Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs)
  • Market Execution
  • Margin Accounts
  • Clearing Records / Trade Reconciliation
  • Suitability
  • Qualified Investor Issues
  • Fiduciary Duty
  • Supervision
  • Asset Allocation / Concentration
  • Mutual Funds and Closed-End Funds (CEFs)
  • Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) – Leveraged 2x / 3x
  • Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) both on and off-exchange (non-traded)
  • Futures (NFA – National Futures Association and CFTC – Commodity Futures Trading Commission) compliance as well as exchange rules
  • National Futures Association (NFA) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Compliance and Exchange Rules
  • Options Operational Compliance, Suitability, SRO (self-regulating Organizations i.e. CBOE – Chicago Board Options Exchange)
Modern Office Building

For general inquiries or a complimentary case analysis by Paul Carlson, please use our contact form:

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