The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Thursday that it has appointed a senior leadership team to head its new examination and risk monitoring structure, a move that marks the consolidation of broker-dealer regulator’s three exam functions into a single, unified program.
The exam functions previously were divided among three programs responsible for business conduct, financial and trading compliance.
“The consolidation brings those programs under a single framework designed to better direct and align examination resources to the risk profile and complexity of member firms,” FINRA said.
“Our commitment to our mission of protecting investors and market integrity has guided us throughout this process,” Bari Havlik, executive vice president of Member Supervision and head of exams, said in a statement. “Implementing a unified program structure will help make us a more agile and risk-focused regulator, able to direct our expertise and resources in a more tailored way. As a result, we expect to continue to become more effective at examining firms for compliance and protecting investors.”
All FINRA member firms are now grouped into one of five main firm business models: Retail, Capital Markets, Carrying and Clearing, Trading and Execution, and Diversified.
Each of the groups, which is headed by a senior leader, has several subgroups to more precisely categorize firms with similar business models and activities.
Each firm will be assigned a single point of accountability, the leader who has ultimate responsibility for the ongoing risk monitoring, risk assessment, planning and scoping of examinations tailored to the risks of a firm’s business activities.
In the coming weeks, FINRA said that it will notify each member firm of its single point of accountability and its new risk monitoring teams.
FINRA’s 2020 exam program will operate under the new structure.
The senior leadership team that will oversee Member Supervision’s exam and risk monitoring functions and report directly to Havlik is:
- Tom Nelli, senior vice president, will lead the teams responsible for executing the exams, setting standards across the firm groupings, and quality assurance testing.
- Ornella Bergeron, senior vice president, will lead the Single Point of Accountability and Risk Monitoring teams for the Carrying and Clearing and Diversified firm groups.
- Bill St. Louis, senior vice president, will lead the Single Point of Accountability and Risk Monitoring teams for the Retail and Capital Markets firm groups.
- Tim Thompson, senior vice president, will lead the Single Point of Accountability and Risk Monitoring teams for the Trading and Execution firm group.
Thompson will remain a part of Market Regulation’s Trading and Financial Compliance Examination team, working closely with Havlik and the Member Supervision team.
Other Member Supervision leaders that will provide guidance and support to inform FINRA’s exam and risk monitoring efforts, and report to Havlik, are:
- Kerry Gendron, senior vice president, Data Analytics and Technology Strategy, will lead a team focused on the strategic adoption of data analytics and technology solutions for Member Supervision.
- Ursula Clay, senior vice president and chief of staff, will lead the Core Functions teams that will provide support across all Member Supervision groups.
Mike Rufino, executive vice president, will continue to serve in his role as a senior advisor including focusing on investor protection issues and will report directly to Havlik.
Bill Wollman, executive vice president, will lead a new Office of Financial and Operational Risk Policy within FINRA’s Office of General Counsel, reporting directly to Chief Legal Officer Robert Colby while also continuing to coordinate closely with Member Supervision.
In August, FINRA announced that Cam Funkhouser, executive vice president of the Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence, would retire at the end of this year.
In his place, FINRA is creating a new executive role leading the National Cause and Financial Crimes Detection Programs and has begun a search for that position.