When Robert Cook becomes FINRA's CEO later this year, he'll have to steer the regulator through a bevy of hot button issues and increasingly sharp criticism from Congress, experts and critics say.

"FINRA is facing so many external pressures to its existence," says Bradley Bondi, a partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindeland and a leader of the firm's securities enforcement practice. "It does not surprise me that it picked someone like Bob Cook who is an experienced broker-dealer attorney, is well versed on the current issues and knows his way around the SEC."

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