WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Board of Governors has unanimously elected as FINRA Chairman William H. Heyman, Vice Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of The Travelers Companies, Inc., effective July 18. Heyman earlier served as a member of the FINRA Board from January 2004 through September 2016.
Heyman succeeds John J. “Jack” Brennan, who became Chairman last year after serving as the Board’s Lead Governor since 2011. Brennan joined the Board of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) in 2002 and remained on the Board after FINRA was created through the merger of NASD and New York Stock Exchange Regulation in 2007.
“Bill’s extensive experience as a regulator, as an institutional investor and in the industry make him an outstanding choice to chair an organization whose mission is to protect investors and ensure the integrity of financial markets. We look forward to working with Bill to advance that mission,” said President and CEO Robert W. Cook. “We are grateful to Jack for his exceptional contributions to FINRA. Jack has been a consistent champion for individual investors and for a vibrant industry, and has led the Board with a steady hand during a period of significant change for securities firms and for the markets.”
Shelly Lazarus, who chairs the FINRA Board’s Nominating and Governance Committee, said, “The succession from Jack to Bill ensures both continuity and quality of leadership for the Board. We were looking for someone with the experience, the insight and the drive to build on the progress made under Jack, and Bill gave us all we were hoping for.”
“I am honored by the opportunity to lead the FINRA Board at this important time in the evolution of FINRA and the financial industry and markets,” said Heyman. “Under Jack Brennan’s leadership, FINRA has a strong and dedicated Board, and I look forward to rejoining my colleagues both on the Board and in management.”
During his time on the FINRA Board, Heyman chaired the Management Compensation Committee and, prior to that, the Nominating and Governance Committee. He also served on the Finance, Operations & Technology Committee, Investment Committee and Executive Committee.
Heyman served as Director of the Division of Market Regulation (now Trading and Markets) at the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1991 to 1993.
Prior to his current role at Travelers, he was chairman of Citigroup Investments, a subsidiary of Citigroup which managed much of Citigroup's proprietary portfolio, including private equity, real estate and alternative investments.
He began his career in the securities business in 1979, when he co-founded Mercury Securities, a small broker-dealer specializing in merger arbitrage. Prior to that, he was a securities lawyer, principally with Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
Heyman graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and cum laude from Harvard Law School.
FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity. It regulates one critical part of the securities industry – brokerage firms doing business with the public in the United States. FINRA, overseen by the SEC, writes rules, examines for and enforces compliance with FINRA rules and federal securities laws, registers broker-dealer personnel and offers them education and training, and informs the investing public. In addition, FINRA provides surveillance and other regulatory services for equities and options markets, as well as trade reporting and other industry utilities. FINRA also administers a dispute resolution forum for investors and brokerage firms and their registered employees. For more information, visit www.finra.org.