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Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Another Senior FINRA Employee Joins Merrill Lynch

The computer scientist was previously in charge of analytic and surveillance risk models.

Jay Chua, the former director of advanced analytics at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is joining Merrill Lynch as a business intelligence manager. Susan Axelrod, the chief supervisory officer at Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, sent a memo to brokerage employees on Thursday announcing the hire.

Chua worked with a team of data scientists and financial engineers on analytic and surveillance risk models at FINRA, according to the memo, reviewed by His responsibilities included overseeing the design and deployment of qualitative and quantitative methods for identifying risks at the firm, branch and individual levels of broker/dealers.

At Merrill Lynch, Chua will lead the analysis and management of business and risk intelligence for the wealth manager’s Business Oversight and Supervision Group.

“Jay’s leadership will help strengthen and advance our supervisory culture by leveraging internal and external data to detect and predict risk,” Axelrod said in the memo. “His responsibilities include formulating recommendations-based intelligence, creating efficiencies in existing reporting tools and data, and identifying tools to manage and mitigate supervisory risk.”

Chua is the second senior employee to join the brokerage in recent months. Axelrod, who left FINRA last fall, joined Merrill Lynch in March of this year.

In October of last year, FINRA CEO Robert Cook, while testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment, said the regulator would begin allowing public to access bulk data on member firms, heightening supervision of brokers.

“Over time, collectively we’re realizing there’s potential opportunity in having them be able to see patterns in their firm,” Cook said during his testimony. “We’re also looking at whether there are packages of data that we could make available to researchers and others to help facilitate.”

FINRA has been working to better leverage the data and information it collects on member firms to make it more accessible and useful to investors.

The regulator announced last month it was drastically shortening the time it takes to review the public records of individuals who register with a firm—a process to confirm the individual is properly listing any history of complaints, regulatory infractions or other required disclosures. FINRA now performs a public records review of individuals within 15 days after a firm applies to register that individual with the regulator. Prior to the change, similar reviews were done on an annual basis.


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