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August 31, 2003

Will STA Lobbying Bear Fruit?

By Gregory Bresiger

The next few weeks will be a critical period for the Security Traders Association.

As Traders Magazine went to press, the association was continuing its full-court press of lawmakers and regulators, seeking to make its case on various issues in person.

At the top of the list will be the STA's attempt to end access fees, revise decimalization and persuade regulators to let it have a say in the move toward other market structure reforms.

Correspondence

"We've given them a White Paper on market structure and had frequent correspondence with the SEC. Now we intend to meet with many of them in person over the next two weeks," John Giesea, president of the STA, recently told Traders Magazine.

Giesea and other members of the STA board are slated to have a face to face meeting with William Donaldson, the new chairman of the SEC, as well as other SEC commissioners and staff.

Besides providing members with their unique point of view, STA officials are also hoping that they will be active participants in the expected hearings on market structure that are slated for a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee.

"We want to be a part of any of these hearings. We are hoping that the committee will be interested in the STA giving testimony," according to Mary McDermott-Holland, the incoming chairwoman of the STA.

The committee, according to a securities industry lobbyist, may or may not decide to take testimony from associations such as the STA and the Securities Industry Association.

Testimony

The lobbyist said that the committee may instead decide to hear from the traders themselves.

If so, then McDermott-Holland would likely give testimony. She is both a buyside trader and an association activist, the lobbyist said.

"The hearings will be very important," the lobbyist added. You can be sure that the SEC will be watching these hearings very closely."