FINRA’s diversity and inclusion efforts

FINRA has recently taken steps to advance diversity and inclusion in the broker-dealer industry, including issuing Regulatory Notice 21-17, on April 29, 2021, seeking comments. FINRA stated that it is committed to supporting diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity efforts by the industry. The request for comment noted that regulatory agencies such as FINRA have an opportunity to evaluate how their rules and actions may have unintended disparate impacts on those within the industries they regulate and how they may unintentionally impede diversity and inclusion. In connection with these efforts, FINRA requested comments by June 28, 2021 “on any aspects of our rules, operations and administrative processes that may create unintended barriers to greater diversity and inclusion in the broker-dealer industry or that might have unintended disparate impacts on those within the industry.”  Subsequently, on May 20, 2021, FINRA chair, Eileen Murray, participated in a virtual fireside chat at FINRA’s Annual Conference with FINRA CEO, Robert Cook, during which Ms. Murray discussed her hopes to see more accountability and standardization in the reporting of diversity and inclusion efforts within firms in the industry, and that tying executive compensation to diversity goals would make a “world of difference.”

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