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Finra Arbitration Chief to Retire

Wall Street Journal

Wall Street’s self-regulator said Wednesday that the head of its arbitration and disciplinary hearing programs, Linda Fienberg, will retire at the end of November.

Ms. Fienberg, 72, joined the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in 1996. She created its Office of Hearing Officers, the forum that hears disciplinary cases Finra brings against brokers and firms. She also pushed in recent years for changes that allow more people without direct ties to the securities industry to serve as arbitrators in damage claims by customers against brokers.

Philip Aidikoff, of law firm Aidikoff, Uhl & Bakhtiari in Beverly Hills, Calif., who represents investors, gave Ms. Fienberg credit for improving the arbitration process. “She was in a very difficult job balancing a lot of competing interests” between the brokerage industry and investor advocates, he said. “Panels have become more diverse.”

Some changes proposed under Ms. Fienberg’s watch are still pending. In July, Finra announced the formation of a task force to conduct a comprehensive review of the arbitration system.

Ms. Fienberg joined Finra from the law firm Covington & Burling LLP, and was previously an associate general counsel at the SEC. At Finra, she earned $921,032 last year, down from $958,973 in 2012, according to Finra’s annual report.

A search for her successor is under way, a Finra spokeswoman said.