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News Release

Angelita Williams (202) 728-8988

FINRA Names Sarah Gill as Ombudsman, Cindy Foster as VP of MAP Program

FINRA today announced the appointment of Sarah Gill as Ombudsman and Cindy Foster as Vice President of the Membership Application Program (MAP) and Statutory Disqualification.  

As the new Ombudsman effective Oct. 4, Gill will handle issues, inquiries and complaints that arise from FINRA’s interactions with public investors, member firms, member firm employees, FINRA staff and other stakeholders. She succeeds Foster in the role. Foster, who had served as FINRA’s Ombudsman since 2009, was appointed to lead MAP, effective June 14. 

"We are pleased to announce the appointment of these two professionals whose leadership and dedication to our mission serve to inspire, encourage and strengthen our organization and our people every day," said FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook. “I look forward to their continued contributions to our investor-protection mission in their new roles.”

“A strong, well-resourced and independent Ombudsman’s office is essential for maintaining high ethics and accountability standards, both internally and externally,” Gill said. “I look forward to joining the Ombudsman team and leveraging my understanding of regulatory policy, legal knowledge, and industry experience to serve as a trusted resource for investors, our employees and other stakeholders.” 

“The MAP group serves as gatekeeper to the broker-dealer industry, working to protect investors by ensuring that would-be firms meet FINRA’s standards of admission and helping new and existing firms grow and evolve,” Foster said. “This new post is a wonderful opportunity to use many of the same skills and industry knowledge I developed as Ombudsman to lead an extraordinary group of mission-driven professionals within FINRA’s Member Supervision team.“

Since 2018, Gill has served as FINRA’s Senior Director for State Government Affairs, providing strategic advice on policy issues and fostering FINRA’s relationships and collaboration with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and state securities regulators. Prior to joining FINRA, she was a Senior Vice President at LPL Financial, with roles including Head of Regulatory Policy and Associate General Counsel. Gill also served as an Assistant General Counsel in FINRA’s Office of General Counsel before joining LPL Financial. She began her legal career as an officer in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps, with assignments as a military prosecutor at Naval Station Pearl Harbor, legal advisor to the NCIS Hawaii Field Office, and a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Honolulu. Gill obtained a Juris Doctor from the UCLA School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in biomedical ethics from the University of Pennsylvania. 

As FINRA’s Ombudsman, Foster worked with a cross-section of securities industry stakeholders, including firms, issuers, registered representatives, investors and FINRA staff to review and resolve concerns and complaints arising from examinations, investigations, arbitrations and FINRA’s disciplinary process. Prior to that role, Foster served in various capacities at FINRA, including as a Market Regulation senior analyst responsible for investigating manipulation and fraud in the over-the-counter securities markets; Associate Director and Lead for the Order Audit Trail System Member Firm Coordination Project; and Senior Director in Member Relations. Before rejoining FINRA, Foster worked for financial services software company SunGard Trading Systems/BRASS, serving in senior capacities, including Chief Compliance Officer and Executive Vice President. Foster has Master of Business Administration and Master of Science degrees from the University of Maryland University College. She received her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University. 

About FINRA

FINRA is a not-for-profit organization 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.