Stephen Luparello, vice chairman at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is leaving after more than 16 years to take a job at a Washington law firm, the brokerage industry's self-regulator said in a statement.

Luparello, 52, who was interim chief executive officer of Finra before being named vice chairman in 2009, will leave Oct. 7 to join Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP, Finra said today. He oversaw enforcement and market regulation at Finra, and helped create systems to monitor markets, detect fraud and protect whistle blowers, according to the statement.

"He helped lead the organization through one of the most critical times for securities regulators," Finra Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Ketchum said in the statement.

Finra oversees U.S.-listed broker-dealers under authority of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Luparello, who was set to receive a $1.3 million compensation package this year, started with the regulator when it was the National Association of Securities Dealers Inc. He has also worked for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the SEC, Finra said.

"Because of the breadth of his experience and responsibilities in the realm of securities policy, regulation, and enforcement, Steve will bring an invaluable perspective to our securities practice and to our clients," William McLucas, the former SEC enforcement chief who leads WilmerHale's securities department, said in a statement released by the firm. "His background makes Steve a natural fit at WilmerHale, and we are very pleased to welcome him to the team."

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