In an email to firms on July 12, 2007, NASD Chairman and CEO Mary Schapiro announced the decision not to use the name "Securities Industry Regulatory Authority" for the new regulatory organization formed from the consolidation of NASD and the New York Stock Exchange Member Regulation.
The organization will instead be known as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA.
Throughout the NASD/NYSE Member Regulation consolidation process, I have made it a priority to keep firms up-to-date on the latest developments. Today, I want to share with you news regarding the name of our new combined organization.
As you know, the name that was initially chosen for the new entity was the Securities Industry Regulatory Authority, or SIRA.
However, after we previewed the name three weeks ago, we were made aware that our use of the acronym "SIRA" could create confusion, or might even be considered offensive by some, because of its similarity to an Arabic term used to refer to the traditional biographies of Muhammad.
Because of this feedback, we determined that it was appropriate to select the alternative name of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, for our new organization.
NASD values and respects the diversity of our employees, member firms and the wider community of investors that we serve. We operate in a global, multi-racial, multi-religion environment, and we strive to be sensitive and respectful to all.
To remain true to that spirit, we have decided that selecting the alternative name for the new organization is simply the right thing to do. FINRA describes well the full scope of our responsibilities, clearly defines the new organization's mission and is easy to remember.
No matter what name the new organization operates under, FINRA is our opportunity to define the future of self-regulation, ensuring that industry input continues to be a valued component of the regulatory process.
I want to assure you this change in no way affects the pending consolidation. Once we receive the SEC's final approval on our by-law changes, we will close the transaction.
As events unfold, I will continue to keep you up-to-date on important matters.
Mary L. Schapiro
Chairman and CEO, NASD