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FINRA CEO Rick Ketchum to Retire

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is launching a search to find a successor to Rick Ketchum, who announced Friday he is retiring from his position as CEO of the Wall Street regulator.

Ketchum, 64, said Friday he plans to retire in the second half of 2016, after spending more than three decades serving as an industry regulator. FINRA will look at internal and external candidates to succeed him.

"I'm proud of FINRA's achievements over the past six years," Ketchum said in a statement Friday. “FINRA is well-placed to continue to play an important role in educating and protecting investors in the years ahead."

Ketchum said FINRA has been at the forefront of investor protection, crediting the staff’s “aggressive” efforts to help enforce the rules.

“Investor protection is our principal reason for being, and I have been honored to work with an incredibly dedicated and talented group of professionals who take this vital mission seriously,” he added.

Prior to joining FINRA, Ketchum spent five years as the first chief regulatory officer of the New York Stock Exchange. Before that, he led both the National Association of Securities Dealers (FINRA’s predecessor) and The Nasdaq Stock Market. He also served as the director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s division of market regulation.

Ketchum’s leadership of FINRA in 2009 began in the aftermath of the financial crisis when public trust in the financial system was at an historic low, according to Jack Brennan, former CEO of Vanguard Group and lead governor of FINRA. But through initiatives like the high risk broker program, the expansion TRACE reporting of asset-backed securities and refinements to BrokerCheck, Ketchum has put FINRA on the “front line” to help shape stronger investor protections and greater market integrity, Brennan said.

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