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Regulation and Compliance > State Regulation

Insurers Could Get Seat On New Securities SRO Board

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The National Association of Securities Dealers and NYSE Group Inc. want to combine oversight of securities firms.

The proposed regulatory consolidation could simplify compliance for large insurers with securities affiliates that belong to the New York Stock Exchange.

Officials at the NASD, Washington, and NYSE, New York, say the proposed deal could create a new “self-regulatory organization,” or SRO, that would be the private-sector regulator for all securities brokers and dealers doing business with the public in the United States.

The NASD now regulates about 5,100 member firms, and about 200 of those also are regulated by NYSE, officials say.

NYSE would continue to regulate the markets it runs and oversee the companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange, officials say.

The deal should save enough money that the NASD will be able to pay each member firm about $35,000 once the deal is created, officials say.

The deal also should give the NASD the ability to reduce some member fees for 5 years, officials say.

The NASD and NYSE have not yet named the proposed SRO, but they say it would have main offices in Washington and New York, along with 18 district offices and dispute resolution offices in other cities.

The new SRO would start with 2,400 staffers from the NASD and 470 members of the NYSE regulation, arbitration and enforcement team, officials say.

Richard Ketchum, new chief executive of the NYSE regulatory oversight unit, would start out as chairman of the SRO board.

NASD Chairman Mary Schapiro would be the chief executive of the SRO, officials say.

The new SRO would have a 23-seat board of governors, with 11 seats held by members of the public.

“Medium sized firms with 151-499 registered persons, NYSE floor members, independent dealer-insurance affiliated firms, and investment companies will each be guaranteed one seat on the new organization’s board,” according to the NASD and NYSE.

The NASD and NYSE boards already have blessed the proposed regulatory consolidation. Completing a deal will require NASD member approval and approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, officials say.

The NASD and NYSE have included a statement from SEC Chairman Christopher Cox in the proposal announcement.

“Eliminating overlapping regulation, establishing a uniform set of rules, and placing oversight responsibility in a single organization will … enhance investor protection while increasing competitiveness in our markets,” Cox says in the statement.


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