Wall Street watchdog to pick insider as arbitration head
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[September 12, 2014] By
(Reuters) - The Financial
Industry Regulatory Authority has narrowed its search
for a new head of its arbitration unit to two of its own
long-time officials, according to a person familiar with
FINRA, Wall Street's industry-funded watchdog, will replace the
retiring chief of its arbitration unit with either Richard Berry,
the unit's director of case administration, or Kenneth Andrichik,
its mediation director, the person said.
Linda Fienberg, who has been FINRA's arbitration head for 18 years,
will retire at the end of November, the regulator said last
FINRA develops and enforces securities industry rules, and oversees
the forum in which investors must resolve their legal disputes with
brokerage firms. Investors consent to the mandatory arbitration
process when they sign agreements to open accounts.
Berry did not immediately return a call requesting comment.
Andrichik declined to comment.
It is unclear when FINRA will make its decision, the person said.
Berry and Andrichik have long worked for FINRA and its predecessor
organization, the National Association of Securities Dealers.
Berry, who has a law degree from the University of California
Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, joined the regulator
in 1995, according to his LinkedIn profile. Andrichik has worked for
FINRA since 1980, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has a law
degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.
FINRA's departing arbitration head, Fienberg, has overseen many
changes to the authority's controversial arbitration process,
including removing a mandatory industry-affiliated arbitrator on
each three-person arbitration panel. Critics of the system said it
was biased in favor of Wall Street firms.
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Fienberg's retirement comes as a plan to restrict industry veterans
from acting as arbitrators in many disputes between investors and
their brokerages is pending at the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Fienberg also serves as FINRA's chief hearing officer, overseeing
the program through which FINRA conducts hearings involving brokers
and Wall Street firms facing discipline by the regulator. The
position will be filled separately.
(Reporting by Suzanne Barlyn; Editing by Richard Valdmanis and Andre
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