By Suzanne Barlyn
April 22 The head of the Financial Industry
Regulatory Authority's member sales practice unit will take on a
broader role, overseeing several departments, including fraud
detection, market intelligence and enforcement, according to an
Susan Axelrod's new role as FINRA's head of regulatory
operations is effective immediately. She will report directly to
Richard Ketchum, FINRA's chairman and chief executive.
Axelrod has been a Wall Street fixture since 1989, beginning
as a staff attorney for the enforcement division of the New York
Stock Exchange. Before joining FINRA in 2007, Axelrod was chief
of staff to the chief executive of NYSE regulation.
"I've always had the highest regard for her professionally
as well as personally," said Gerald Baker, a compliance
consultant in Kewadin, Michigan. "She has a great understanding
of our industry and how our firms operate," Baker said.
FINRA oversees about 4,270 brokerage firms and about 630,000
brokers. The regulator routinely examines brokerages to
determine whether they are in compliance with industry rules.
Axelrod's new role also includes overseeing a range of
regulatory units that oversee member firms in areas ranging from
risk oversight to operations.
"These groups work very closely together. There are a lot of
synergies between their goals and missions," said Axelrod in an
interview. Axelrod is looking forward to further aligning the
units she will oversee, she said. That will include a greater
focus on potential risks at firms and being more aggressive with
bad actors, Axelrod said.
FINRA's Michael Rufino will take on Axelrod's prior role.
Rufino's duties, as acting head of the sales practice unit, will
include supervising FINRA's 15 district offices. He previously
assisted Axelrod with that task.