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What You Need to Know

  • FINRA performed 5,623 exams and reviews last year.
  • Total fines increased by $17.5 million in 2020 to $57 million.
  • CEO Robert Cook’s total compensation in 2020 was $3.12 million.

Fines issued by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority soared, with some executives also seeing a bump in pay in 2020, according to the broker-dealer self-regulator’s annual financial report, released Friday.

The total amount of fines increased by $17.5 million in 2020 to $57 million, versus $39.5 million in 2019.

According to its 2020 Annual Financial Report, FINRA reported net income of $19.8 million in 2020 versus a net loss of $45.9 million in 2019, an increase of $65.7 million year over year.

“Our 2020 net income was driven by operating income of $30.9 million, offset by other expenses, net of investment gains, of $11.1 million,” said FINRA CEO Robert Cook.

“Higher operating income for the year reflected increased revenues, due primarily to higher trading volumes and a large number of public offerings, partially offset by an increase in operating expenses and lower interest and dividend income,” Cook reported.

FINRA stated that its balance sheet “remains strong,” with the regulator having $1.5 billion in equity as of December 2020.

FINRA also reported that it performed 5,623 exams and reviews last year; issued $25.2 million in restitution to harmed investors; expelled two firms; suspended 375 brokers and barred 246.

Its Helpline for Seniors also continues to do well. As of Dec. 31, 2020, the Helpline has received more than 21,000 calls from all 50 states and several countries with FINRA making more than 1,600 referrals to state, federal and international regulators. FNRA also assisted with the return of more than $7.7 million to investors.

FINRA Executive Pay

Cook’s total compensation in 2020 was $3.12 million, a slight drop from the $3.16 million he earned in 2019.

Todd Diganci, FINRA’s chief financial officer, earned $1.5 million in 2020, a significant drop from the $2.6 million he earned in 2019.

Steven Randich, chief information officer, earned $1.36 million in 2020 versus $1.35 million in 2019.

Robert Colby, chief legal officer, earned $1.24 million in 2020 versus $1.16 million in 2019.

Bari Havlik, head of Member Supervision and chief of exams, earned $1.3 million in 2020 versus $1.1 million in 2019.