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News Release

Ray Pellecchia (212) 858-4387
Rita De Ramos (646) 315-7255


FINRA Creates Industry Diversity Advisory Committee

New Committee Highlights FINRA’s Commitment to Improving DEI in the Securities Industry

WASHINGTON—FINRA announced today that it has established an Industry Diversity Advisory Committee, advancing its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the securities industry.

The FINRA Board of Governors appointed members to the new committee at its September meeting, implementing a recommendation by FINRA’s Racial Justice Task Force (RJTF).

FINRA now has 13 advisory committees that provide feedback on rule proposals, regulatory initiatives, and industry issues.

“The advisory committee structure has long been a key component of the self-regulatory model, as it helps FINRA ensure our rules and activities reflect the diverse business models of firms, the complexity of today’s securities markets, and the wide range of investors the industry serves,” said FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook. “This new Industry Diversity Advisory Committee will explore opportunities within this framework and provide guidance to the FINRA Board of Governors and management on enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion across the securities industry.”

The 13 members of the Industry Diversity Advisory Committee—representing industry professionals, diversity practitioners and academics—will focus on collaborating with other securities industry organizations to strengthen DEI across the industry, identifying the impact FINRA rule proposals and initiatives may have on FINRA’s commitment to increasing DEI, exploring and promoting initiatives that foster the full participation of communities of color in financial markets and sustain financial capability, and encouraging engagement and participation of underrepresented groups on FINRA committees, panels and other working groups.

The members of the Industry Diversity Advisory Committee are:

  • Yves Denize, Senior Managing Director and Division General Counsel, Nuveen
  • Sidney Dillard, Partner, Head of Corporate Investment Banking Division, Loop Capital
  • Frank Dobbin, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences, Harvard University
  • Pepe Finn, Chairperson and CEO, Stern Brothers & Co.
  • Sandra Grannum, Partner, Faegre Drinker
  • Dean Harman, Managing Director, Harman Wealth Management, Sagepoint Financial
  • Jervis Bennett Hough, Chief Operating Officer/Chief Compliance Officer, Blaylock Van, LLC
  • Wendy E. John, Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Fidelity Investments
  • Seema Mohanty, Founder, Mohanty Gargiulo, LLC
  • Valerie Irick Rainford, Founder and CEO, Elloree Talent Strategies
  • Samuel A. Ramirez, Jr., President and CEO, Samuel A. Ramirez & Co. Inc.
  • Annie Seelaus, Chief Executive Officer, R. Seelaus & Co.
  • Nadine Mentor Williams, Founder and President, Mentor Holdings & Investments, Inc.

In addition, Audria Lee, FINRA’s Vice President, Talent Acquisition and Chief Diversity Officer will serve as an ex-officio member of the committee.

FINRA has taken significant steps to increase the involvement of underrepresented groups on its advisory committees. In May 2021—upon the recommendation of RJTF—FINRA established term limits for advisory committees to facilitate greater diversity and increase opportunities for those who are interested in serving. In addition, FINRA and its Board of Governors review each committee annually to help ensure appropriate composition and representation that considers not only the relevant expertise of each committee member, but also the committees’ diversity of geographic location, size, and business models.

For more information about how FINRA promotes DEI within the securities industry and the communities it serves, read FINRA’s 2021 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report.


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