FINRA Names Its First EVP of Regulatory Ops

Susan Axelrod will oversee enforcement, the Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence and Member Regulation

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced Monday that Susan Axelrod would become FINRA’s Executive Vice President of Regulatory Operations, a newly created position.

In her new role, Axelrod, former head of FINRA’s Member Regulation Sales Practice area, will oversee enforcement, the Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence and Member Regulation (Sales Practice, Risk Oversight and Operational Regulation and Shared Services).

Mike Rufino, chief operating officer of Member Regulation—Sales Practice, will assume the role of acting head of the Sales Practice group.

A FINRA spokesperson said that after the departure of Steve Luparello, who previously oversaw the groups now reporting to Axelrod in this newly created post, as well as Market Regulation, FINRA "took the time to evaluate the reporting relationships across the organization. After several months, the decision was made to consolidate reporting based upon the synergies between departments and their consistent mission to protect investors and vigorously prosecute those that engage in fraudulent activities."

Luparello's last day at FINRA was Oct. 7; he was interim CEO prior to being named vice chairman in 2009, and oversaw FINRA's regulatory operations, including Enforcement, Market Regulation, Member Regulation and Business Solutions. Luparello was instrumental in the creation of the Office of the Whistleblower and the Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence in 2009.

Axelrod will report directly to FINRA’s chairman and CEO, Richard Ketchum.

“Susan has dedicated her entire career to making sure investors are treated fairly. Her tremendous expertise across a wide range of FINRA’s regulatory programs will support FINRA’s critical mission to protect investors and ensure market integrity,” said Ketchum, in a statement. “The synergies among the departments Susan will be heading lend themselves to a single reporting relationship, and Susan’s passion for protecting investors and unparalleled commitment to achieving results will stand American investors in good stead.”

Before becoming head of Member Regulation Sales Practice, Axelrod was senior vice president and deputy of Regulatory Operations, where she assisted in the oversight of Market Regulation, Enforcement and Member Regulation. Prior to joining FINRA in 2007, Axelrod was chief of staff to the CEO of NYSE Regulation. Axelrod began her career at NYSE in 1989 as a staff attorney in the division of enforcement and became an enforcement director in 1997.

Axelrod received her law degree from the Hofstra University School of Law in 1989 and her bachelor’s degree from Emory University in 1986.

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