The brokerage industry will always loathe regulation. And it's safe to say brokers weren't raising pints of ale to the announcement in January that Mary Schapiro, head of NASD Regulatory Policy and Oversight, would be taking over for Robert Glauber as chairman of the NASD at the end of the year. One tough cop replaces another. Yeah, cheers.
But with industry experience and a long history of investor protection on her resume, some will no doubt be pleased. Some of the criticism of Glauber during his six-year tenure has been that his largely academic background made him less well suited to run the industry's self-regulator. Before joining the NASD, Schapiro earned her chops as a commissioner at the SEC from 1988 to 1994, and later as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
She joined the NASD in 1996 as president of NASD Regulation and became vice chairman in 2002. As head of NASD Reg, she was the top cop for the brokerage industry. The Reg division writes the rules of conduct for the industry, examines firms for compliance and enforces those rules.
“She is a proven leader and is uniquely qualified to take over as the head of NASD as it continues to execute its vital mission of protecting investors and ensuring market integrity,” said Richard Brueckner, CEO of Pershing, a member of the NASD's Board of Governors, and part of the search committee that chose Schapiro. “I am confident the securities industry will work closely with Mary and support NASD's efforts to make regulation both more efficient and effective,” he says.
Others hope Schapiro will communicate the NASD's agenda clearly to members in the future, as regulation undoubtedly continues to be tough on firms. Bill Singer, a securities attorney and columnist for Registered Rep., says she's got the skills to be a good ambassador: “As my grandmother used to say, 'You were given two ears and one mouth so you can listen more and talk less.' That's Mary,” he says.