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Sep 22, 2006 4:47 pm
I recently learned that NASD is rolling out a new Office of Member Relations --- sadly, it appears that this proposed Office only confirms how wide a chasm separates the NASD bureaucrats and the reform/dissident elements of the NASD member and registered person community.

On September 15, 2006, NASD posted on its Career Opportunities website a job opening for a Director of its new Office of Member Relations (OMR). So as to not be accused of making up some of the tortured language in that notice, I quote directly from the job posting (see italics):

Major Purpose of Job:
The Director, Member Relations, assists the Vice President of Member Relations with all aspects of the department’s operations including but not limited to - - - facilitate effective feedback loops between member firms and NASD departments to affect positive change.

Bill Singer’s Comment:
As with all bureaucracies, we start off with the simple premise that the more titles there are in a department, the more important the department sounds. So now we have a Director of Member Relations who will assist the Vice President of Member Relations. Given the impressive duties and responsibilities assigned to the Director, what exactly is left for the Vice President to do? Will we soon have a Deputy Director, and an Assistant Deputy Director, and a Deputy Assistant Director, and an Assistant Director to the Deputy Assistant Director?

Then there is the gem! Among the Director’s key tasks will be to “facilitate effective feedback loops. . .” When I see prose such as that, I immediately know what’s going on. Someone is desperate to make a simple task sound very important and complicated. For godsakes, who the hell talks like that? Certainly no one who has run a broker-dealer on a daily basis. And the Press wonders why there is so much unrest among the NASD’s reform/dissident community. Well, what better example could be offered to explain how our regulator drives us crazy? They rarely say what they mean, much less mean what they say. Now we have to interpret something about Fruit Loops.

Essential Job Functions:
The Director serves as ambassador to member firms. . .

Bill Singer’s Comment:
An ambassador? Okay, so is this a grudging admission by NASD that they view their members as foreign entities --- not really partners in self-regulation? Worse, the idea of an “ambassador” clearly suggests that this job is about getting out the NASD staff’s message, rather than a sincere desire to foster better relationships between the regulator and the regulated.

• Key message development, including identification of key themes to deliver as well as general talking points for NASD senior management

Bill Singer’s Comment:
How nice. This newfangled ambassador will be focusing on identifying “key themes” to deliver. Frankly, why not say it plainly? They want this Director to be the NASD’s snowblower. Don’t the good folks at NASD understand how insulting it is for we in the industry to be reduced to children for whom “general talking points for NASD senior management” must be developed? Is NASD senior management incapable of coming up with their own “general talking points?” Is this a legitimate expense --- to hire someone to identify key themes for NASD execs to talk about? Hey, anyone ever hear of old-fashioned sincerity?

Other Responsibilities:
The Director is also responsible for:
• Preparing, reviewing, monitoring, and providing guidance on written communications to members, including messaging priorities, tone, and delivery mechanism.
• Oversight of tone and messaging delivered at standing and district committee meetings. . .

Bill Singer’s Comment:
Oh, great, we have an NASD membership with a growing reform/dissident faction, and NASD thinks that the Director of this Office of Member Relations should be responsible for “messaging priorities, tone, and delivery mechanism.” The NASD just saw two of its handpicked nominees for the Board defeated in upset, contested elections last year, and the best they infer from that scenario is someone needs to worry about messaging priorities, tone, and delivery mechanism? Well, someone probably had to get Nero’s fiddle for him.

Worse, the Director will also have “oversight of tone and messaging delivered at standing and district committee meetings. . .” Funny, I just can’t find any reference to developing “sincere content” to respond to complaints from the industry. I also note that despite this being some member relations department, there is nary a word about delivering messages from the industry to NASD. But, hey, given all the time that will likely be eaten up on such mission-critical tasks (like that phrase?) as “tone” and “delivery mechanism,” it’s doubtful that this Director will have much time to serve as an ambassador from the industry to the NASD.


I’m sorry. Truly sorry. But this is genuinely frustrating. For over a decade I have floated the idea of an Office of the Industry’s Advocate (OIA) at the NASD. You can read more about that d=11. The OIA concept has been adopted by the Financial Industry Association as a worthy proposal. Unlike the NASD’s Office of Member Relations, OIA is envisioned as an advocate for NASD member firms and registered persons. You would think that NASD would have made a meaningful effort to communicate with me, FIA, and other sincere folks seeking to reform the SRO about the creation of such an important new office as one dealing with member relations. At a minimum, how about sending us a copy of the proposal before you go ahead and hire folks? How about asking for our input?

But, no, some things apparently never change. Then again, there are elections coming up for seats on every NASD District Committee and for the NASD Board. Maybe FIA’s slate of candidates will win some of those contested elections. Maybe then we could exchange ambassadors?
Sep 25, 2006 3:48 pm

I am holding out for an SEC Commissioner’s slot myself.

Sep 25, 2006 5:20 pm

I think you’d make a good one.

Sep 25, 2006 5:24 pm

Thanks, too bad it’s not an elected position!

Sep 25, 2006 5:50 pm

[quote=Indyone]I think you’d make a good one.[/quote]


Sep 25, 2006 6:44 pm

I actually understand the global equities and debt markets and can recite all NYSE rules by memory. On the NASD ones, I can recite most of them.

How many current Commissioners can say that? Certainly not newbie, Chris Cox!

Sep 25, 2006 6:54 pm

I only asked why because it seems to be so very like Eddie Haskell
stepping up and saying, "Gee Mrs Cleaver you make the best peanut
butter sandwiches."

Gratuitious insincerity on parade.

The reality is that none of us know enough about you, or any of the
others who post here, to possibly decide that any of us would be good
appointments to the SEC, the NASD Board or any other regulatory body.

I am somewhat amazed by the raw politics of appointing Mr. Cox–but
this administration is all about hardball politics, and those politics
generally are my politics.

Sep 25, 2006 6:58 pm

I am also a USC alum so if that's the criteria Dubya used to appoint Chris, then I am qualified in that respect, too.

There are 2 current SEC Commissioners who know the regs as well as I do. Only 2.

As far as electing them, I think it would be far superior to them being appointed.

I was just messing with Bill a little about the "I am holding out for SEC Commssioner" but I think most folks over here know that by now.

Sep 26, 2006 11:49 am

Bill, I am still holding out for SEC Commissioner.

Roel Campos shouldn't be the only one who wore combats. PAC 10 alums are "hot" right now. Chris Cox got his JD from USC. Roel got his MBA from UCLA. It's time to "West Coast" that place a little more. I even know what a "wash trade" is and have international enforcement experience (those Estonians didn't know what hit 'em)!

Did you submit your CV for this newly created position? You never know, Bill. Sounds like a fun job and I think you're more than qualified. Glauber's long gone. Mary's into getting the job done right.

Sep 26, 2006 2:50 pm

Robert Glauber's gone, Bill. This is a new and improved NASD. I think you have a very good shot this time.

Apologies for the typo in my previous post. Roel Campos should NOT be the only SEC Commissioner who ever wore combat boots. I was busy placing a combat boot up some won't trade on the NDAQ much longer CEO's butt when I wrote that.

I think you should apply and think you stand a much better shot of consideration now. Glauber's gone, thank G-d! He was the problem and this is a much new and improved NASD.

Sep 26, 2006 3:00 pm

Cool---I won't post my "you should apply for SEC District Administrator in _________" e-mail since I framed it and am holding out for something better (like Commissioner).

I wish you the very best and think your chances are much better now with Glauber gone.

Sep 26, 2006 6:12 pm

I was once asked if I was a Sith Lord. I said, "no comment."

Have been called a LoveLEHGirl a time or two in the past. No one knew why, though.

In all seriousness, it's my opinion that Ms. Schapiro is MUCH different than "holier than everyone else," Robert Glauber. I am very glad he's long gone the NASD (best regulator on the face of the earth).

Sep 26, 2006 6:56 pm

The SEC didn't grow itself a set of you know what's until they hired Walter Ricciardi (NO regulatory experience) to clean up that mess former District Administrator Juan Marcellino left in Boston. To think that the SEC gave that guy (Juan) a Stan Sporkin award makes me wanna puke!

The SEC is slowly but surely reforming itself and if it continues to model itself after the NASD, that's great in my opinion.

Sep 27, 2006 12:35 pm

Why do you suppose a really high powered attorney would use an AOL email address, while also posting a website?

A cynic might conclude that by doing that there will be no "official" record of what was said, or evidence to his partners that he's spending his time doing things "on the side."

Sep 27, 2006 10:01 pm

Bill...I don't think you'll have to worry about any retort for a little while...I think Nasty has thoroughly ticked off the board moderators as they have deactivated all of his least all of the obvious ones...

...unfortunately, just like a bad case of athlete's probably won't tak our favorite fungus long to find his way back under a new alias...

Sep 27, 2006 10:03 pm


Why do you suppose that NASDY Newbie hides behind an anonymous name and refuses to disclose his true identity?

A cynic might conclude that by doing that there is no "official" record of what he says online or evidence to his brokerage firm's compliance department that he is spending his time doing things "on the side."


Nah, I suggest that he's no longer encumbered by such worries.
Sep 28, 2006 1:25 am


Bill…I don’t think you’ll have to worry about any retort for a little while…I think Nasty has thoroughly ticked off the board moderators as they have deactivated all of his aliases…at least all of the obvious ones…

...unfortunately, just like a bad case of athlete's probably won't tak our favorite fungus long to find his way back under a new alias...


banned again?

Yet he keeps coming back.