FINRA Taps Vanguard’s John Brennan as Chairman

Mr. Brennan will join FINRA in the second half of 2016 from Vanguard Group.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reported on Friday that its board has unanimously elected John J. “Jack” Brennan as its chairman, effective the same day that former SEC’s Robert Cook is set to start his term as the regulator’s new CEO, according to an official statement.

Most recently, Brennan served as Vanguard Group chairman emeritus and senior advisor. He will succeed the current FINRA’s chairman and CEO Richard G. Ketchum, who served in these roles since 2009, upon his previously announced retirement on August 15th, 2016.

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On June 13, 2016, FINRA announced the appointment of the former SEC’s Director of Trading and Markets Robert W. Cook as president and CEO. It was also announced at that time that FINRA, the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States, would move to a non-executive chair structure for its board governance.

Mr. Brennan has been FINRA’s lead governor since 2011. Previously, he joined the Board of Governors of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and remained on the board following the merger of the NASD and New York Stock Exchange Regulation in 2007.

Mutual Praise

Commenting in the press release, Richard Ketchum, outgoing FINRA chairman and CEO, said: “Throughout his tenure on the boards of FINRA and its predecessor, as well as his many years leading Vanguard, Jack has been a tireless advocate for individual investors and liquid, fair markets.”

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“During my tenure at FINRA, Jack has been a trusted adviser and partner, helping us develop a number of important programs to support our mission,” he added.

John Brennan, FINRA’s upcoming chairman, commented in the official statement on the recent board addition: “FINRA plays such a critical role in safeguarding and educating investors, while upholding the integrity of the most robust capital markets in the world. The entire Board and I look forward to working with Robert and all of FINRA’s constituents to accomplish FINRA’s mission.”

According to Robert W. Cook, FINRA’s president and CEO, effective two months later: “Jack is widely respected throughout financial and regulatory circles as a champion of the individual investor with a commitment to fair, transparent and efficient markets.”

“He has an unwavering dedication to FINRA and its mission of investor protection and market integrity. I’m looking forward to a productive partnership with Jack and the entire Board of Governors,” Mr. Cook concluded.


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