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September 30, 2000

Separate Neighborhoods for NASD and Nasdaq

By William Hoffman

The National Association of Securities Dealers and the Nasdaq Stock Market will start dividing up their common property this fall, having begun their amicable separation this spring.

Nasdaq is expected to consolidate its New York operations into a site at the One Liberty Plaza address in lower Manhattan, according to a source at the NASD, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"We will continue to maintain a presence in the Washington, and Rockville, Md., areas," the source said. "And it is likely that the headquarters of Nasdaq will move to New York within the next two years."

Yet the NASD - which is decoupling from the high-tech Nasdaq Stock Market it spawned 30 years ago - is staying in Washington, the source emphasized. "The NASD will not be moving."

Facing Up

Georgetown University associate professor of finance and Nasdaq expert, Jim Angel, said the physical relocation of association and stock market assets "is one of the questions that have to be faced by the NASD" as demutualization proceeds.

"Who's going to get the office on K Street? Who's going to get the offices in New York?" added Angel, who's finishing a one-year academic fellowship at the NASD.

In July, a New York tabloid claimed the NASD was moving to One Liberty Plaza. "They never checked that story with us," the NASD source said. "They are wrong, wrong, wrong."

The association will probably open offices in Liberty Plaza, the source said. But NASD headquarters will remain in the nation's capitol.

The source declined to share NASD decision-makers' rationale for the moves, but conceded that the obvious is close enough. "New York is the financial capital of the world," the source said. "The guys who have been working on this have been pretty close-mouthed about it."