Susan Axelrod Susan Axelrod

Susan Axelrod, the former head of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s regulatory operations, has been named Chief Supervisory Officer for Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.

Axelrod, who’s been serving as senior advisor to FINRA’s CEO, Robert Cook, since January, will be charged in her new role at Merrill with advancing the firm’s “supervisory risk culture by driving shared accountability for end-to-end supervision at all levels of leadership.”

She will report to Andy Sieg, head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, and is replacing Michelle Carter, who previously held the role and as of early March has moved to a newly created role at U.S. Trust leading business planning, governance and controls.

Axelrod, who will start her new role at Merrill in early May, announced last October that she was departing the broker-dealer self-regulator after 28 years to seek other opportunities in the private sector.

“I’ve built my career around protecting investors and I’m proud to be joining a firm focused on doing the right thing for clients and improving their financial lives,” Axelrod said Thursday in a statement.

“As our advisors continue to build their practices in an evolving regulatory environment, Susan will be an essential partner helping us drive responsible growth and improve how we operate,” added Seig in the statement.

— Check out Why Has the Number of FINRA Firms Declined? on ThinkAdvisor.