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Friday, January 23, 2009

Schapiro Gets the Nod

by: Armie Margaret Lee

In a unanimous vote, the Senate on Thursday confirmed FINRA CEO Mary Schapiro as the new SEC chair.

Stephen Luparello, FINRA's senior vice president for regulatory operations, will serve as interim CEO as the regulator searches for a permanent replacement for Schapiro.

For now at least it appears that Schapiro has some friends in the industry. ICI president and CEO Paul Schott Stevens quickly released a statement praising the Senate and congratulating the new SEC chair.

FINRA Press Release

Washington, DC — The Board of Governors of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has established a search committee to identify candidates to replace FINRA CEO Mary L. Schapiro, whose nomination to become chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was approved by the U.S. Senate yesterday.

Schapiro's service as FINRA's CEO ends at close of business today. Stephen Luparello, FINRA's Senior Executive Vice President for Regulatory Operations, will serve as Interim CEO while the Board committee conducts its search for a permanent CEO. Luparello has been with FINRA and its predecessor organization, NASD, since 1996. Prior to joining FINRA, he served in various capacities at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the SEC.

FINRA's Board has also accepted the resignations of two Board members representing large securities firms. Robert J. Mcann left the Board when he resigned recently from Merrill Lynch. Lehman Brothers' Thomas A. Russo vacated his Board seat when his firm underwent organizational changes and, as a result, no longer qualifies as a large firm because it now has fewer than 500 brokers.

The Board is expected to nominate two new large firm Board candidates in February. Following formal publication of those nominations on FINRA's website, the more than 180 registered large firms will have the opportunity to nominate additional candidates by petition. If no additional candidates are nominated within 45 days, the Board's nominees will take office. If additional candidates are nominated, a vote by large firms will take place in accordance with FINRA's By-Laws.

FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation. FINRA registers and educates industry participants, examines securities firms; writes and enforces rules and federal securities laws, educates the investing public and provides trade reporting and other industry utilities. FINRA also administers the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and registered firms. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.finra.org.

Company Press Release

Washington, DC, January 23, 2009 - Investment Company Institute President and CEO Paul Schott Stevens issued the following statement after the U.S. Senate confirmed Mary Schapiro to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission:

“We congratulate Mary Schapiro on her confirmation by the U.S. Senate as chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Especially now, the SEC needs tough and experienced leadership dedicated to fulfilling the agency’s vital missions of protecting investors and overseeing our capital markets. Mary Schapiro will provide just that kind of leadership. We look forward to working with her.”  

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