FINRA Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

Next Step for FINRA 360 “Listen, Reflect, and Action”

FINRA’s self-evaluation process will now involve listening, reflecting and action.

In the latest episode of FINRA’s podcast, Unscripted, rather than guests, the organization played a tape from the “Fireside Chat” which occurred at FINRA’s most recent conference

The “Fireside Chat” included FINRA’s Chief Executive Officer Robert Cook and Executive Vice President of Member Supervision Bari Havlik, and was moderated by Chip Jones, Senior Vice President of Member Relations and Education.

Robert Cook
Robert Cook

During the chat, the topic of FINRA 360 came up.

FINRA 360 is a “comprehensive self-evaluation and organizational improvement initiative called FINRA360. The objective of this effort, which CEO Robert Cook launched in early 2017, is to ensure that FINRA is operating as the most effective self-regulatory organization (SRO) it can be, working to protect investors and promote market integrity in a manner that supports strong and vibrant capital markets.” According to FINRA’s website.

“Overall, I think it’s doing great,” Cook said of FINRA 360, a project which he started after he came in as CEO in 2016.

Moving forward, Cook said, “Where I see FINRA 360 going is sort of transitioning to embedding this idea of continuous improvement into our operation. We have a cycle of listening, reflecting, and then acting. So, listening carefully to stakeholders inside and outside, hearing what their concerns are- actively listening about what’s on their minds. Then reflecting, kind of thinking about what does this mean; how could we take this feedback and either decide that it’s helpful for us and will move us in the right direction or may be sometimes not, but be able to explain that.

“But then, acting, not just have it be in our heads. So, having this cycle of having listening, reflecting, and action.”

One important part of the listening process, Jones noted, was the ability to “engage with the member firms.”

It is one of the benefits of being a self-regulatory organization (SRO) which is what FINRA is.

FINRA was created in 2007, when the regulatory arms of the NYSE and NASD merged.

Cook noted that there are roughly thirty SROs in the “securities space.”

For any exchange to be properly registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) it must have a regulatory arm, making each exchange an SRO.

Cook noted further about being able to engage with members, “One is really engagement with the members. The idea behind an SRO in part is that if we can have better engagement with our members trying to regulate incredibly complex evolving markets, we’re going to be better at what we do.”