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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC, FINRA Launch New Initiative to Assist Chief Compliance Officers at Broker-Dealer Firms


Washington, D.C., Oct. 30, 2007 - The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) today announced a new initiative to further promote strong compliance practices at broker-dealer firms for the protection of investors.

Similar to the SEC's ongoing CCOutreach Program for investment advisers and investment company chief compliance officers, the CCOutreach BD program will help broker-dealer chief compliance officers (CCOs) ensure effective communication about compliance risks, maintain effective compliance controls, and foster strong compliance programs within their firms.

"This is an opportunity for broker-dealers and their regulators to learn from one another about how best to ensure compliance with the securities laws," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox.

FINRA CEO Mary L. Schapiro said, "Through its education and training programs, FINRA devotes considerable resources to compliance education — not just for compliance officers, but for broker-dealers' frontline staff as well. This new CCOutreach program will provide a unique opportunity for compliance chiefs across the country to discuss priority topics directly with regulators — and they can participate in shaping the agenda for those discussions themselves."

The SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, in coordination with the Division of Market Regulation, will sponsor the CCOutreach BD program together with FINRA. The program will feature a National Seminar at SEC headquarters in Washington, D.C., tentatively scheduled for March 2008, as well as regional compliance seminars across the country. These meetings will provide the opportunity for open discussions on effective compliance practices and timely compliance issues in ever-changing markets.

To ensure that the National Seminar includes the compliance topics of most interest to broker-dealer CCOs, the SEC and FINRA are soliciting input from CCOs on topics of interest. A list of potential agenda items for the National Seminar may be found on the SEC Web site at http://www.sec.gov/info/bdccoutreach.htm and on the FINRA Web site at www.finra.org/bdccoutreach. Detailed information about the National Seminar and regional seminars also will be posted on those Web pages as it becomes available.

Please note: Registration for the CCOutreach National Seminar for broker-dealer CCOs, tentatively scheduled for March 2008, has not yet commenced. Information concerning the CCOutreach National Seminar for investment adviser/investment company CCOs on Nov. 14, 2007, is on the SEC's Web site at http://www.sec.gov/info/ccoutreach.htm.



Modified: 10/30/2007