FINRA Names Richard Berry Head of Securities Arbitration

By Suzanne Barlyn

Oct 30 (Reuters) - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Thursday named a long-time official, Richard Berry, as the new head of its securities arbitration unit.

Berry will replace the head of FINRA's arbitration unit, Linda Fienberg, who retires at the end of November after 18 years in her current job. He is presently the unit's director of case administration, and will become the executive vice president and director of dispute resolution on Dec 1. His appointment was reported exclusively by Reuters earlier on Thursday.

FINRA, Wall Street's industry-funded watchdog, runs the system where investors and brokerage firms must resolve their legal disputes. Brokers must also typically arbitrate employment disputes through the system.

Berry could not be immediately reached for comment.

FINRA had considered Berry and another internal candidate as Fienberg's possible replacements since mid September, after the watchdog announced she was planning to retire.

Berry has worked for FINRA and its predecessor organization, the National Association of Securities Dealers, since 1995. Berry has a law degree from the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, according to his LinkedIn profile.

He will take over as head FINRA's arbitration unit as the regulator is taking a broad look at its arbitration system. FINRA, in July, launched a task force to review the system. The 13 members are conducting a year-long review to consider possible changes that would improve transparency, impartiality and efficiency, FINRA has said. (Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn,; Editing by Diane Craft, Andrew Hay and Cynthia Osterman)

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