SIA and Bond Market Association to merge

Source: Securities Industry Association

The boards of directors of the Securities Industry Association and the Bond Market Association today voted to merge the two organizations, creating the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, or SIFMA.

The merger is subject to a vote of approval by member firms by the end of July. The new organization will encompass almost the entire diversity of firms in the financial markets and create a single, powerful voice on legislative, regulatory and market practice issues.

"Combining these organizations into one broader, yet unified, association positions us to better represent our member firms and accomplish our core mission of helping them, the securities industry and the financial markets grow and prosper, while also continuing to enhance public trust and confidence," said James P. Gorman, Chairman of the SIA and President and Chief Operating Officer of the Global Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley.

"SIFMA will aggressively promote efficient global capital markets, foster the development of new products and services and advance responsible market practices which benefit all financial market participants. This new merged association will enable us to pursue these goals more efficiently with the optimal use of our members' resources," said Edward C. Forst, Chairman of TBMA and Chief Administrative Officer of Goldman Sachs.

The merger is a tangible recognition of rapid market convergence, which has blurred traditional distinctions separating investors, asset classes and different regions of the world. The new organization is structured to reflect this development with three business groups, and three regional boards, operating under the new Association's board of directors. Those business groups are the Capital Markets Group, the Private Client Group and the Asset Management Group. The regional boards are composed of a U.S. Regional Board, a European Board and an Asian Board.

The composition of the new board of directors has also been carefully fashioned to meet the needs of all member firms. The board will have specific representation from large global firms, middle market and smaller U.S. companies, non-U.S. firms and asset managers. The intent is to ensure the Association incorporates the views of all of its members in its activities.

"Board structure is critically important and we have spent a significant amount of time developing a board composition that will address the needs of all our members regardless of size, business mix or location," noted Mr. Forst.

"SIFMA will have greater focus, strength and efficiency to represent the interests of all member firms," commented Mr. Gorman. "The new association will provide strong representation of firms across the broad spectrum of products and markets."

The new organization will also enhance its member services and provide access to a larger network of members. The Association will benefit from a stronger member and staff organization and will have an increased capacity to achieve results. Further, the Association will have a strengthened research capacity and more opportunity for member firm professional development, training and advancement.

At the same time, the merger is also expected to generate efficiencies both in terms of cost savings and the amount of volunteer time members contribute. The Association should benefit from economies of scale and the elimination of duplications and redundancies, such as real estate. Duplicate member committees will also be combined, which will allow members to more efficiently manage the amount of time they spend on association activities.

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