Bradley (Brad) Bennett, Executive Vice President and Chief of Enforcement at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Wall Street’s self-policing organization, is leaving to pursue a job in the private sector.
As executive director of enforcement at FINRA, Mr. Brad directed investigations of stockbrokers and brokerage firms. In essence, he operated as the enforcement division’s chief operating officer, overseeing its day-to-day operations.
Mr. Bennett handled several prominent cases for FINRA including a multi-firm settlement regarding conflicts of interest related to the ToysRUs IPO. He also oversaw the case of supervisory failures related to the sales of Puerto Rican municipal bonds, as well as the significant sanctions for microcap fraud/anti-money laundering violations.
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FINRA has not picked a permanent successor to Mr. Bennett, but the executive enforcement duties will now fall largely on Susan Schroeder, Deputy Head of Enforcement, who has been named the Acting Head of Enforcement.
Before joining FINRA in 2011, Mr. Bennett had a long career as a defense lawyer. He was a longtime partner at Baker Botts in Washington, where he defended financial advisers, brokerage firms and corporate executives accused of everything from insider trading to accounting fraud. Earlier in his career, he served as an attorney at Miller, Cassidy, Larocca & Lewin, as well as a senior attorney in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.
Robert Cook, FINRA President and CEO, commented: “Brad has guided our Enforcement team in collaborating with other FINRA staff on a number of important investor protection initiatives, such as the high-risk broker program and the senior helpline. I would like to thank Brad for his years of service to promote investor confidence in the securities markets, and I wish him the best in his future endeavors.”
Brad Bennett, the outgoing Chief of Enforcement, added: “Working with my colleagues across FINRA on issues critical to its mission has been a great honor. FINRA’s role has never been more important to preserving confidence in the markets, and I am proud to have contributed to its success. The Enforcement staff’s talent and dedication resulted in significant cases across a broad range of areas essential to investor protection, and being a part of their team was the highlight of my career.”