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Meet the new FINRA CEO

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced on June 13th of this year that its Board of Governors has appointed Robert W. Cook as their new President and Chief Executive Officer, effective the second half of 2016. Mr. Cook will succeed Richard G. Ketchum, who has served as Chairman and CEO of the FINRA since 2009.

Robert W. Cook
Mr. Cook comes from the law firm of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP which he joined in 1992 and where he has served as a partner in the firm’s Washington, DC, office since 2001. While at Cleary Gottlieb, his focus has been regulation of securities markets and market intermediaries that include broker-dealers, exchanges, alternative trading systems, and clearing agencies. Mr. Cook graduated magna cum laude with an A.B. in Social Studies in 1988 from Harvard College, where he was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his Master of Science with distinction in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the London School of Economics in 1989. He received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1992.

Mr. Cook has established himself as one of the nation’s leading practitioners on broker-dealer and market regulation as he is also the former Director of the Division of Trading and Markets at the SEC from 2010-2013. Under his authority, the Division’s 250 professionals were responsibly for regulatory policy and oversight with respect to securities exchanges and markets, broker-dealers, and clearing agencies and FINRA.

According to FINRA Lead Governor Jack Brennan, “Robert has a deep understanding of the securities markets, and investors will greatly benefit from his broad regulatory expertise developed as Director of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, where he led the organization in establishing and maintaining standards for fair, orderly, and efficient markets.”

His soon to be predecessor, Richard Ketchum commented, “Having known and worked alongside Robert for several years, I know that he brings extensive expertise as one of the leading practitioners on broker-dealer and market regulation, as well as proven regulatory and leadership experience.”

Mr. Cook stated that he looked forward to building on the experience and work of Mr. Ketchum and, “…collaborating with FINRA’s Board, members, and other stakeholders to strengthen investor protections, promote market integrity and enhance FINRA’s core competencies of examinations, enforcement, rulemaking, market transparency and market surveillance.”  (FINRA.org)

About the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA dedicates their work to investor protection and market integrity through efficient and effective regulation, complementary compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches almost all aspects of the securities business – from registering and educating industry participants to examining securities firms, writing rules and regulations, enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws, and informing and educating public investors. In addition to these duties, FINRA also provides surveillance and other supervisory services for equities and options markets, as well as trade reporting and other industry utilities. FINRA also administers the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and firms to provide a non-biased, professional solution.

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