Ten to Watch 2010-2011: The New Sheriff

Ten to Watch 2010-2011: The New Sheriff

Denise Crawford, NASAA Commissioner/Past President

Denise Crawford

AGE: 56

POSITION: NASAA Commissioner/Past President

LOCATION: Austin, TX.

EDUCATION: B.A., University of Texas at Austin; J.D., St. Mary's University School of Law.

Under the new Dodd-Frank reform law, the North American Securities Administrators Association, the state securities regulatory group, is set to become a much bigger player in the securities industry. After all, state securities regulators will assume oversight for an additional 4,000-odd RIA firms this year — all those with between $25 million and $100 million in client assets. But with state coffers strapped, some have questioned state securities regulators' ability to effectively police so many additional firms.

“There will definitely be a focus on how well they're playing that role, and whether they can bring expertise and resources to bear at least as well or better than the SEC,” says Dan Barry, managing director of government relations and public policy at the Financial Planning Association. Granted, there are 3,000 firms under SEC jurisdiction that the regulator has never examined. NASAA President Denise Voight Crawford says the states can do much better than that.

At the end of September, Crawford, who is in her 28th year as a securities regulator, will pass the NASAA torch on to David Massey, North Carolina state securities commissioner, but she stays on as “past president.” Because of her high-profile role shaping Wall Street reform over the past year, with testimony before Congress, extensive personal contacts in Washington, and a busy schedule of letter writing and press conferences, she will remain a significant force as states securities regulators iron out their new responsibilities.

“She's always been someone who has been very involved,” says Kristina Fausti, director of legal and regulatory affairs for Fi360. “As past president, she still sits on the board and provides advice and guidance, and they will rely on her a lot because of how vocal she was.”

Crawford says she intends to remain very involved. “I'm a real policy person and David a real hands-on enforcement guy. So we tend to divide up the pie accordingly. David will be the president, will be in charge, but I'm sure he's going to want me to continue to work on many of the issues that I've been working on,” she says.

For now, she's working to transition thousands of RIAs to state oversight. In August, she will kick off investment advisor examination training in Dallas for all state investment advisors. It seems like a good start.

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