Robert W. Cook

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Robert W. Cook
Occupation President and Chief Executive Officer
Employer FINRA

Robert W. Cook is the president and chief executive officer of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), effective in the second half of 2016. He was appointed to that position on June 13, 2016. He was previously a partner in the Washington offices of the law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton starting in 2013. He joins FINRA as the agency is splitting the roles of chairman and chief executive in anticipation of Richard Ketchum's scheduled retirement later in 2016.[1]

Earlier he was director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s division of trading and markets, where he oversaw the staff’s review and analysis of the “flash crash” in May 2010. He also oversaw the carrying out of rules for Wall Street arising from the Dodd-Frank regulatory overhaul and the 2012 JOBS Act.


At Cleary Gottlieb, Cook focused on the regulation of the securities markets as well as broker-dealers, exchanges, alternative trading systems and clearing firms.

Cook joined the firm in 1992, became a partner in 2001, left Cleary to join the SEC in late 2009 and then returned to the firm in 2013.[2]


Cook graduated magna cum laude with an A.B. in Social Studies in 1988 from Harvard College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He received his Master of Science with distinction in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the London School of Economics in 1989. He received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1992.[3]


  1. Finra Names Robert Cook its chief Executive. The New York Times.
  2. Robert W. Cook, Partner. Cleary Gottlieb.
  3. Robert W. Cook Named Director of SEC Division of Trading and Markets. SEC.