In the United States, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) is a private corporation that acts as a self-regulatory organization (SRO). FINRA is the successor to the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD) and the member regulation, enforcement and arbitration operations of the New York Stock Exchange. It is a non-governmental organization that regulates member brokerage firms and exchange markets. The government agency which acts as the ultimate regulator of the securities industry, including FINRA, is the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRAs mission is to protect investors by making sure the United States securities industry operates fairly and honestly. FINRA oversees about 4,250 brokerage firms, about 162,155 branch offices and approximately 629,525 registered securities representatives. FINRA has approximately 3,400 employees and operates from Washington, DC, and New York, NY, with 20 regional offices around the country.