Finra’s New King Is..

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(InvestmentNews.com) Finra, the SRO overseeing the broker-dealer universe has turned to a former top Securities and Exchange Commission official, Robert W. Cook, to replace the outgoing Richard Ketchum as chief executive.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. on Monday morning said it had tapped Mr. Cook, 50, the former director of the division of trading and markets for the SEC from 2010 to 2013, to succeed Mr. Ketchum effective in July. Finra’s board of governors is still searching for a chairman to replace Mr. Ketchum and intends to name a new one in the coming months.

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Most recently, Mr. Cook was a partner in the Washington office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. At Cleary Gottlieb, Mr. Cook focused on the regulation of securities markets and market intermediaries, including broker-dealers, exchanges, alternative trading systems and clearing agencies, according to a statement by Finra.

Mr. Cook also directed the SEC’s staff’s review of equity market structures and its analysis of the so-called “flash crash” of May 2010.

A career securities regulator, Mr. Ketchum has been Finra’s chairman and CEO since 2009. He said last fall he intended to retire.

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