- Mr. Cook will succeed Richard G. Ketchum, who has served as Chairman and CEO since 2009
- Effective the second half of 2016
- He joins from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, and previously served as the Director of the Division of Trading and Markets (Division) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced on Monday that its Board of Governors has appointed Robert W. Cook as 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 since 2009. The Board intends to name a new Chairman in the coming months.
Mr. Cook will join FINRA from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, where he has served as a partner in the firm’s Washington, DC, office since June 2013. Prior to joining Cleary Gottlieb, Mr. Cook served as the Director of the Division of Trading and Markets (Division) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 2010 to 2013. Under his direction, the Division’s 250 professionals were responsible for regulatory policy and oversight with respect to broker-dealers, securities exchanges and markets, clearing agencies and FINRA. He also directed the staff’s review of equity market structure and its analysis of the Flash Crash of May 6, 2010. Prior to joining the SEC, Mr. Cook served as a partner at Cleary Gottlieb since 2001, and joined the firm in 1992.
“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,” said FINRA Lead Governor Jack Brennan, former CEO of Vanguard Group. “We thank Rick for his terrific leadership as FINRA’s Chairman and CEO, and express our gratitude on behalf of all investors for his decades of service.”
“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,” said Mr. Ketchum. “Robert’s appointment is the result of the Board’s careful and thorough search process to identify the right leader to carry on FINRA’s important role of educating and protecting investors in the years ahead. It has been my honor and privilege to lead this extraordinary organization.”
“I am honored to join FINRA as CEO, and to have the opportunity to work alongside FINRA’s talented and dedicated staff in the critical role of protecting investors, as well as ensuring fair and orderly financial markets,” said Mr. Cook. “I look forward to building on Rick’s many years of excellent work 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.”