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May 31, 2001

At Deadline

By Editorial Staff

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STA President

*Lee Korins, the Wall Street pro nicknamed Superman for his ability to juggle multiple tasks with seeming ease, will not be seeking a second term as president and chief executive officer of the Security Traders Association, according to Traders Online, an affililated Website of Traders Magazine.

Korins, whose career on Wall Street included a 32-year stint at Merrill Lynch & Co. and as head of two regional stock exchanges, told the board that, for "personal reasons he will not ask for renewal of his three year contract," said one Wall Street executive close to the STA. The contract expires in February.

A search committee has started the processs of finding a replacement for Korins. "Lee's decision is personal. He has other things he wants to do," a source told Traders Online. The source added that Korins will likely remain active with the STA, lobbying Congress for securities industry reforms. During his tenure at the STA he continued the fight to have Section 31(a) fees reduced. Legislation to achieve that in Congress has been bogged down over an amendment involving pay-parity for SEC employees. Korins declined to comment on his plans.


*Delays and failures in executing orders continue to be two of the chief operational complaints against broker dealers, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, which recently published the numbers from last year. The total number of execution failure complaints last year was 1,178, compared to 1,151 in 1999, SEC officials said.

The SEC, which breaks out these operational problems into ten categories, received a total of 4,271 complaints last year. That was up by 28 percent compared to 1999. The processing delays category registered as the second most frequent complaint. Although margin position sellout complaints were still down the list at eighth place, the number of these complaints rose last year by 133 percent to 519. The best execution category registered the fewest complaints. Order processing was the fifth most likely complaint category. Transfer of accounts was the most frequent complaint.


*The mandatory rule for the display of the national best bid and offer (NBBO) has been retained by the Securities and Exchange Commission's Advisory Committee on Market Information. The action was surprising because several committee members said they believe the rule has declining importance in a market that is now decimal-based.

The committee also decided to approve the concept of competing consolidators of market data. The action is expected to have a profound impact on the policy of the SEC. Some observers are now speculating that the SEC will eventually endorse the competing consolidators plus NBBO model.