SUSAN F. AXELROD
Chief Supervisory Officer, Merrill Wealth Management
Susan F. Axelrod is Chief Supervisory Officer (CSO) for Merrill Wealth Management. As CSO, she oversees supervisory risk culture, driving shared accountability for end-to-end supervision at all levels of leadership. She also is a key leader in activities that focus on regulatory, financial, and reputational risk.
Before joining Merrill, Susan was Executive Vice President of Regulatory Operations at FINRA. In that capacity, she oversaw the Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence and Member Regulation. Previously, Susan was the FINRA Executive Vice President and head of Member Regulation—Sales Practice, with responsibility for ongoing surveillance and examinations, both routine and investigative, of FINRA-regulated securities firms. She moved into that role from Senior Vice President and Deputy of Regulatory Operations, where her responsibilities included assisting in the oversight of the Market Regulation, Enforcement and Member Regulation functions at FINRA. She also played a key role in the integration of NASD and NYSE Member Regulation.
Prior to joining FINRA in 2007, Susan was Chief of Staff to the CEO of NYSE Regulation for three years. In this position, her responsibilities included overseeing operations on a day-to-day basis and acting as a liaison with various business areas including finance, human resources, government relations and communications.
Susan joined the NYSE in 1989 as a Staff Attorney in the division of enforcement and became an Enforcement Director in 1997. Among the cases she handled were those involving specialist and floor broker misconduct, insider trading, upstairs trading, sales practice violations, and financial and operational compliance issues.
Susan serves as Executive Sponsor of The Inter-Generation Employee Network (IGEN), as well as sponsor for the Albany Market. She is also a member of Bank of America’s Operating Committee, Merrill Wealth Managements’ Operating Committee, The Merrill Wealth Management Conduct Council, The Global Financial Crimes Committee the Women’s Exchange Advisory Council.
In 2022, Susan was a receipt of the David Brady award, an award recognizing teammates who demonstrate the kind of extraordinary commitment and dedication to their clients, colleagues and community as personified by Merrill financial advisor David Brady. She is also a member of the board for Girls Inc. of New York City and Volunteers of America for the Greater New York Area.
Susan received her J.D. from the Hofstra University School of Law in 1989 and her B.A. from Emory University in 1986. In 2021, she was a recipient of the Outstanding Women in Law, awarded by her alma mater, Hofstra University.
Susan is married with two children and resides in New York City.