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August 31, 2003

Making a Case in Congress

By Gregory Bresiger

Will anyone be able to give public testimony on behalf of the Security Traders Association, or any other association, when Congress takes up market structure?

Mary McDermott-Holland is likely to be a public spokeswoman for the trading industry when the U.S. Senate committee has its expected market structure hearings this fall. That's because she is now both a practitioner and an officer of a high profile association. Holding both positions will likely give her an advantage because now it appears that the committee probably will not let officers testify, according to a securities industry lobbyist who recently wrote an internal memo.

"I am reminded that in the past, both House and Senate committees have been reluctant to have association staff testify but had extended invitations to association officers working for private firms," according to the memo. The lobbyist concluded that the Senate staff hasn't decided who can testify, but "it would not be a surprise if they decide to go with firm reps as opposed to association staff."