Our Team

Steven L. Thornton is the President of Thornton & Associates, LLC. He is responsible for the general operations, consulting and FINOP services provided by the firm. Mr. Thornton has over 27 years of securities compliance, auditing and accounting experience. He specializes in the areas of FINRA, SEC, RIA and MSRB compliance, net capital regulation, general accounting practices, and FINRA new membership applications and membership application changes. Mr. Thornton also maintains the Series 7 (General Securities Representative), Series 24 (General Securities Principal), Series 55 (Equity Trader), Series 79 (Investment Banking) and Series 28 (Financial and Operations Principal) and Series 99 (Operations Professional) licenses. Over the last 10 years, Mr. Thornton has been registered with over 55 broker dealers as a Financial and Operations Principal as well as a General Securities Principal.

Prior to forming Thornton & Associates, Mr. Thornton held a position as a securities examiner with the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD Regulation, Inc.). While with the Association, he was a member of the NASD Regulation Examination Committee where he assisted in the development of trading and market making audit procedures and the restructuring of the new-hire regulatory training program. He received national recognition as the recipient of the prestigious NASD President’s Award that recognizes outstanding service as a securities examiner.

In 2009 Mr. Thornton was elected to a 3-year term on the FINRA District 2 Committee.

Mr. Thornton served in the United States Marine Corps from 1989 – 1995 and is a veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

After his military service, Mr. Thornton received his Bachelor of Science Degree from California State University, Northridge with a major in Finance. He currently speaks at compliance seminars for securities compliance professionals and has been a guest speaker on the KNX 1070 Business Hour radio show.

Ellen S. Rubin is our FinOp Specialist responsible for the preparation, review, and submission of Broker/Dealer financial statements, Net Capital computations, FOCUS, SSOI, Schedule 1 and BD Custody Report filings. Ms. Rubin has over 25 years of experience as an accounting and operations professional in the securities industry. She holds the Series 7 (General Securities Representative) and Series 27 (Financial and Operations Principal) securities licenses. Ms. Rubin spent eight years as Controller for Drake Capital Securities, followed by five years as Chief Financial Officer and FinOp for Equibond, Inc. In addition to her primary talent as an accountant with heavy regulatory and FOCUS filing experience, Ms. Rubin has a strong background in administration, payroll, cash management, and broker/dealer operations. Ms. Rubin has also coordinated the startup of several broker/dealers. Born and raised in northern Los Angeles, Ms. Rubin is a graduate of California State University, Northridge.

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Kamala serves as a Compliance Consultant for Thornton & Associates, LLC. Prior to joining Thornton & Associates, Mrs. Arnold worked as the Research Coordinator at a boutique investment banking broker-dealer. She was responsible for reviewing and publishing all of the broker dealer’s proprietary equity research. Additionally, she was responsible for preparing FINRA mandated research report disclosures for the firm’s research universe. Mrs. Arnold graduated in 2008 from California State University of Fullerton with a B.A. in Speech Communication with an emphasis in Organizational Communication. She maintains a Series 24 (General Securities Principal), Series 7 (General Securities Representative) and Series 99 (Operations Professional) licenses.


Michelle Phillips serves as the Licensing and Registration Manager for Thornton & Associates, LLC. She utilizes her 25 years of securities industry experience to provide Thornton & Associates’ clients with accurate and timely CRD and IARD filings and registration. She has a tremendous amount of hands-on experience and has received extensive training on the use of the WebCRD/IARD registration system, and the FINRA Electronic Filing System. In addition to her licensing and registration skills, she has coordinated the approval of hundreds of state registration applications for individuals as well as broker-dealers. Michelle’s expertise also includes licensing both firms and individuals in various insurance capacities with the 52 different state/territory insurance divisions. Michelle has worked directly with numerous FINRA member firms, serving as a liaison between the broker/dealer and their registered individual, implementing and monitoring the Firm’s Continuing Education. Additionally, she has gained experience in the securities industry in various areas of compliance and operations.

As Principal of Thornton & Associates, LLC, Michelle manages the Firm’s Human Resources and Organizational Development.  Her experience includes serving as the Account Manager/Advisor of a regional broker’s qualified retirement plan book of business. Previously she was the head of a national employer’s Human Resources department and the Operations Manager for an import lighting company.

Michelle graduated cum laude from California State Polytechnic University Pomona with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Management and Human Resources. She is a California licensed Life and Disability Agent and maintains the Series 6 (Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Representative) and 63 (Uniform Securities Agent) licenses.


As the Office & Marketing Manager for Thornton & Associates, LLC, Sarah ensures our operations run efficiently and our clients receive the highest level of service. In addition, she manages our marketing, strategic partnerships, and customer relationship programs. Her innovative solutions ensure our business relationships continue to grow and succeed. She comes to us with a strong project management and marketing background. Sarah graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts from VCU. In addition, she studied abroad at the Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy.