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Sifma Adds Four New Professional Societies to Broaden Industry Reach

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The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Sifma) has created four new professional societies to broaden its reach in the financial markets beyond its member firms. The four new societies are in fact the latest incarnation of the association’s previously semi-autonomous divisions, which are now focused around compliance and legal issues, internal auditors, financial management and operations and technology.

Their goal will be to promote the benefits of educational opportunities, sharing of best practices and peer-to-peer networking among financial service industry professionals. Timothy Ryan, president and CEO of Sifma, explains: “We look forward to engaging with Society members on a range of issues and provide educational and network opportunities for society members to build their careers in the industry.”

According to Sifma, the four professional societies are organised into categories best meant to represent the various roles professionals play in the financial services industry: the Compliance and Legal Society, the Internal Auditors Society, the Financial Management Society, and the Operations and Technology Society.

The Operation and Technology Society will also include seven sections organised along business lines: corporate actions, credit (margin), customer account transfer, data management, dividend (which will merge with corporate actions in January), securities lending, and securities operations. The sections of the Operations and Technology Society will continue to have their distinct missions, but Sifma claims they will now also be strengthened by a collective affiliation in the Operations and Technology Society.

Leadership of the societies will be provided by a president of the society and an executive committee. In the case of the Operations and Technology Society, the executive committee will be comprised of the presidents of its sections. Sections within the society will be led by a president; currently the president of the former Sifma divisions society and section leadership will be from Sifma member firms. Sifma continues to offer corporate memberships and will now be able to extend society memberships to individuals. If society members are employed by a firm that does not maintain a Sifma corporate membership, an associate membership, or are unaffiliated with a firm, then their membership is exclusively with the society, not with Sifma.

The head of the Compliance & Legal Society remains the same as its former division: Edward Turan from Citigroup Global Markets. The Financial Management Society head also remains the same: Matt Hughey from UBS Wealth Management. The Internal Auditors Society head, however, is changing from Citigroup’s Joseph Pizzuto to James Spangler from the DTCC.

A number of the individual Operations and Technology Society section heads are also changing their previous leaders, apart from National Financial’s George Swindasz, who remains head of the data management section, and Pershing’s Irving Klubeck, who remains head of the securities lending section. The corporate actions section is passing from Deutsche Bank’s John Binder to Len Belvedere from JPMorgan. The credit section will see Deutsche Bank’s Vincent Pfalzer replaced by Paul Carroll from Goldman Sachs Execution & Clearance. The customer account transfer section will pass from Pershing’s Kevin McCosker to Joseph Zaets from Morgan Stanley. The securities operations section will pass from Stephen Melanaski, formerly of Bank of America, to Thomas Gooley from Morgan Stanley, Global Wealth Management.

Whether the new incarnations of these groups will mean their memberships are significantly broadened will be evident next year. Hopefully, by allowing non-Sifma members to join these forums will prove productive in terms of furthering industry debate in these key areas. The data management section, in particular, should have a lot to talk about in 2010!

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