George Friedman has been a top executive at FINRA Dispute Resolution since he joined its predecessor NASD fourteen years ago in 1998. Currently Executive Vice President and Director of Dispute Resolution, Mr. Friedman recently announced he will retire at the end of this year.
George has been a stellar leader of FINRA’s arbitration program, among other roles, and has navigated difficult waters responding to various constituencies including the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association (PIABA), the Securities Industry Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the Securities Industry Conference on Arbitration (SICA), as well as securities regulators such as the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Constantly responding to withering criticism on the fairness of the securities arbitraiton process to both investors and financial services firms, George has handled the political pressures with grace, diplomacy and, of course, his unique brand of humor.
George’s departure is a huge loss for FINRA, as he leaves rather large shoes to fill. I have not seen any public announcement from FINRA on any replacement, but it is my understanding that his responsibilities will be divided up among other executives at FINRA-DR.
On a personal level, I will miss George deeply as he has been a great friend and colleague to me. I wish him all the best, and to enjoy every moment of his retirement. He richly deserves it.