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September 22, 2005

Thain in Fifth Amendment Talks with the SEC

By Gregory Bresiger

The heated debate over the fifth amendment of the New York Stock Exchange's hybrid plan has had a dramatic impact at the Big Board. The NYSE, several industry sources told Traders Magazine, was in negotiations with the Securities and Exchange Commission to amend the plan or possibly write a new one because of criticisms made by various buyside firms.

The objections came, in part, because several members of the NYSE's Institutional Traders Advisory Committee (ITAC) have said that the plan has "become less and less favorable to the buyside and more and more favorable to the specialist," according to an industry source. Committee member objections have come over the fifth amendment's approach to specialist algorithm, broker order files and the displayed files, sources told Traders Magazine. These committee members said that NYSE Chairman John Thain assured the advisory committee that their concerns will be taken up in the form of changes to the plan.

The NYSE declined to comment about any negotiations or ITAC objections. A spokeperson said the Big Board would be filing its own comment letter with the SEC on the Vanguard letter.