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December 1, 2004

Philly's Chief Warns About Future of Nasdaq and NYSE

By Gregory Bresiger

Market centers are going to disappear in the coming years unless they offer multiple services and change their governing structures. That's what several panelists said at a Pace University securities industry association conference.

"It is inevitable that there is going to be consolidation," said Ed Provost, executive vice president for business development for the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

"We're going to see a consolidation of markets," added Meyer Frucher, chairman and chief executive of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange. Speaking at the conference entitled "Surviving Increased Competition and Increased Scrutiny in the Securities Industry," Frucher said that "standalone" markets such as the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq might become "dinosaurs." Exchanges that survive, he said, will have to be reconfigured and also offer various kinds of hedging products.

Another exchange official warned that technology has been "commoditized" and that could be fatal for many established markets.

"What should be frightening for us is that maybe the order flow will not come to exchanges and time is the one thing that we don't have," added David Harris, senior vice president, business planning, for the American Stock Exchange.

What will it take to survive as traditional exchanges face more competition from new execution sources? Frucher said a key issue will be adopting effective governing structures. And Frucher predicted that the regulators will try to push exchanges in this direction.