Headshot of financial executive Eileen Murray Eileen Murray speaks at a Milken Institute event in California in April 2019 (Photo: Bloomberg)

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s board of governors has unanimously elected Eileen Murray, the former co-CEO of Bridgewater Associates, as its next chairperson.

Murray, who has been on FINRA’s board since 2016, will take the reigns at the regulatory group’s yearly meeting in August from William Heyman. Heyman, vice chairman of the Travelers Companies, is ending his three-year term on the board this summer.

“Eileen Murray’s extensive senior leadership, operational, technology and regulatory experience make her an ideal choice to chair our organization and help us continue to achieve our vital mission,” according to FINRA CEO Robert W. Cook.

Maureen Jensen, former chair and CEO of the Ontario Securities Commission, and Eric Noll, CEO of Context Capital Partners, also have been appointed to FINRA’s board, the self-regulatory group said Tuesday.

Murray is the third woman to chair FINRA or its predecessor group, the National Association of Securities Dealers. Mary Alice Brophy was chair of NASD for the first quarter of 1996.

A decade later, Mary Schapiro chaired the NASD board through its consolidation with the New York Stock Exchange’s member regulation, enforcement and arbitration operations from September 2006 to January 2009. (FINRA was officially formed on July 30, 2007.)

Career Highlights

FINRA’s new chair was co-CEO of hedge fund Bridgewater, which was founded by Ray Dalio in 1975, from 2011 to 2019.

Murray, 62, went to work for Morgan Stanley in 1984 and later served as its controller, treasurer and chief accounting officer, as well as the COO of its Institutional Securities Group. She left the wirehouse in 2002 to become a board member and head of Global Technology, Operations and Product Control for Credit Suisse.

She then returned to Morgan Stanley in 2005 as its head of Global Technology and Operations. In 2007, she departed and became co-CEO, president and partner at Duff Capital Advisors and CEO of Investment Risk Management.

Murray recently joined the board of the SoftBank-backed real estate brokerage Compass.

“The chairperson of FINRA’s Board must have a proven track record of leading complex organizations, and above all must have an unwavering commitment to investor protection and market integrity,” said board member Kathleen Murphy, in a statement.

“In conducting our search for Bill’s successor, it was clear that Eileen exceeds all of these qualifications and more,” explained Murphy, who is president of Personal Investing for Fidelity.

“I am honored by the opportunity to lead the FINRA Board at such an important time for FINRA, the financial services industry and the markets,” according to Murray. “Under Bill’s leadership, FINRA has worked tirelessly to ensure that markets operated under the highest standards of integrity for investors, and I look forward to building on that effort.”