Head of government regulator received huge payment package from former financial industry employer

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Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) chairwoman Mary Schapiro received nearly $9 million in compensation and retirement benefits from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) when she left to head the government regulator.

The total amount of compensation was released in a report and posted on the blog ZeroHedge yesterday. FINRA is a self-regulatory organization (SRO) that was tasked with watchdogging the securities industry. Schapiro was the CEO of FINRA from 1996 to 2009. She oversaw the SRO as Wall Street boomed and busted during that same period.

One chief point of contention for FINRA is what kind of oversight they provided for the criminal hedge fund manager Bernie Madoff. In August, a majority of broker-members of FINRA voted for the organization to release more information related to FINRA’s ties to and oversight of Madoff. FINRA subsequently rejected an independent review of its Madoff ties.

SEC officials have met twice with officials from FINRA as the government agency seeks to craft new rules under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Schapiro’s financial disclosure document filed upon accepting the nomination to the SEC shows that she received $2.75 million in salary and incentive compensation from FINRA. The disclosure document also shows an additional Defined Benefits Plan that ranges from five to twenty-five million dollars and a 2008 Incentive Compensation that ranges from one to five million dollars. The financial disclosure document is available for viewing here.

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