NASD Job Opening.

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Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

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.FINAL THOUGHTSI’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 http://www.rrbdlaw.com/brokeandbroker/index.php?a=blog&i 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?

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

I've gotten a few queries asking if I was my article was "tongue in cheek" or "made up."  For those who remain skeptical, here's the actual posting at https://nasd.recruitmax.com/MAIN/careerportal/Job_Profile.cf m?szOrderID=335&szReturnToSearch=1&szWordsToHighligh t=:

Director, Member Relations

Requisition ID
335

Full/Part Time
Full Time

Location
Rockville, MD

Description
Department: Member RelationsDIRECTOR-MEMBER RELATIONS, ROCKVILLE MD.NASD, the nation’s leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, is dedicated to bringing integrity to the markets and confidence to investors through effective and efficient regulation, compliance, and technology-based services. We are currently seeking a Director.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, promoting NASD’s member outreach programs to strengthen relationships with NASD member firms, promote coordinated, consistent, and effective communications with firms, and facilitate effective feedback loops between member firms and NASD departments to affect positive change.Essential Job Functions:The Director serves as ambassador to member firms, with a particular focus on small firms, and has broad responsibility for member firm relations across NASD, including: • Outreach strategy and plan, including identification of key targets, timing, and approach• Member firm communications strategy working closely with NASD Corporate Communications and NASD senior management• Key message development, including identification of key themes to deliver as well as general talking points for NASD senior management• Firm relationship building (visits, calls, meetings, etc.), with a focus on small firms, meeting with firm CEO’s and other senior representatives• Firm visit schedule and calendar, for self and key senior NASD leaders• Firm views, issues and opportunities identification and analysisThe Director works closely with other NASD staff and senior leaders involved in firm outreach activities and serves as a clearinghouse to ensure appropriate coordination of contacts with member firms (member meetings, outreach, business development activities, etc.) and for coordination of feedback from members to NASD staff.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.• Prepare Operational Budget and manage ongoing expenses relative to budget projections.Education/Experience Requirements:BS/BA degree, 8+ years securities industry experience and strong knowledge of securities industry products, operations, compliance and the U.S. regulatory structure required. Candidates must have outstanding communications and relationship building skills, with an existing breadth and depth of contacts and relationships, within the financial services industry and compliance community in particular. The successful candidate will bring a strong results focus and the flexibility to adapt to a changing environment, coupled with a deep commitment to quality and a proclivity towards collaboration and partnering.Working Conditions:Extensive travel required.In addition to a competitive salary, incentive bonus potential, comprehensive health & welfare benefits, NASD offers immediate participation and vesting in a 401(k) with company match; a company-funded pension plan; tuition reimbursement, and many other benefits. If you would like to contribute to our important mission and work collegially in a professional organization that values intelligence, integrity and initiative consider a career with NASD. For consideration, please apply online at www.nasd.com and click on the “Job Postings” link.

ymh_ymh_ymh's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-05

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

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-31

I think you'd make a good one.

ymh_ymh_ymh's picture
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Thanks, too bad it's not an elected position!

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Joined: 2006-09-24

Indyone wrote:I think you'd make a good one.

Why?

ymh_ymh_ymh's picture
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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!

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Joined: 2006-09-24

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.

ymh_ymh_ymh's picture
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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.
 

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

YMH:
Hey --- I'd LOVE to be the Director of Member Relations.  I'd even love to be the Director of my proposed Office of the Industry's Advocate. But given my past experience with NASD, I doubt they would consider me for the job (much less interview me). 
Let's see . . . my qualifications?  Ummm . . . 25 years on the Street, former regulator at AMEX and NASD, former in-house at Smith Barney and Integrated Resources, 16 years as a regulatory defense lawyer, former Series 7/63, counsel to the NASD dissident/reform community --- nah, I don't stand a chance.
Just messin' with ya too!

ymh_ymh_ymh's picture
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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.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

YMH
If NASD is serious about hiring someone to act as an intermediary between the membership and the regulator --- and if the committment by the SRO is to sincerely try to address the problems of members/RRs, then, sure, I'd love to apply for the job.  But it's been my experience that NASD is mainly into posturing and lip-service when it comes to such a position.  The Dept. of Member Relations seems like nothing more than a public relations ploy.  Moreover, it's the same old/same old approach --- send some jerk on a travelling circus to meet with critics and get out the company line.  What NASD needs isn't another "title" on the rubber chicken circuit.  The NASD needs someone sitting in a chair, in an office, reviewing proposed rule changes, reading member/RR complaints, and advocating for reasonable regulation.  You can't do that when you're on the road 26 weeks a year (and NASD strongly suggest they want this Director to make the rounds).
From my perspective, we live in the Internet age and there is little justification for sending folks on jet flights and booking them into the Four Seasons when you can have teleconferences and webcasts.  Sure, once a year, visit and shake hands.  But let's stay focused on getting something done rather than writing postcards.
Tell you what, I'll send in my resume and let's see if I once again get blown off. 

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

GAME ON YMH!!!
 

 
 
Dear Bill,Thank you for interest in the position below. We will review all the resumes we receive and will contact you if your qualifications meet the job description. 
Please review your profile to see if you have any tasks or assessments to complete.
Position Submitted For: Director, Member RelationsDepartment: Member Relations DIRECTOR-MEMBER RELATIONS, ROCKVILLE MD. NASD, the nation’s leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, is dedicated to bringing integrity to the markets and confidence to investors through effective and efficient regulation, compliance, and technology-based services. We are currently seeking a Director. 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, promoting NASD’s member outreach programs to strengthen relationships with NASD member firms, promote coordinated, consistent, and effective communications with firms, and facilitate effective feedback loops between member firms and NASD departments to affect positive change. Essential Job Functions: The Director serves as ambassador to member firms, with a particular focus on small firms, and has broad responsibility for member firm relations across NASD, including: • Outreach strategy and plan, including identification of key targets, timing, and approach • Member firm communications strategy working closely with NASD Corporate Communications and NASD senior management • Key message development, including identification of key themes to deliver as well as general talking points for NASD senior management • Firm relationship building (visits, calls, meetings, etc.), with a focus on small firms, meeting with firm CEO’s and other senior representatives • Firm visit schedule and calendar, for self and key senior NASD leaders • Firm views, issues and opportunities identification and analysis The Director works closely with other NASD staff and senior leaders involved in firm outreach activities and serves as a clearinghouse to ensure appropriate coordination of contacts with member firms (member meetings, outreach, business development activities, etc.) and for coordination of feedback from members to NASD staff. 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. • Prepare Operational Budget and manage ongoing expenses relative to budget projections. Education/Experience Requirements: BS/BA degree, 8+ years securities industry experience and strong knowledge of securities industry products, operations, compliance and the U.S. regulatory structure required. Candidates must have outstanding communications and relationship building skills, with an existing breadth and depth of contacts and relationships, within the financial services industry and compliance community in particular. The successful candidate will bring a strong results focus and the flexibility to adapt to a changing environment, coupled with a deep commitment to quality and a proclivity towards collaboration and partnering. Working Conditions: Extensive travel required. In addition to a competitive salary, incentive bonus potential, comprehensive health & welfare benefits, NASD offers immediate participation and vesting in a 401(k) with company match; a company-funded pension plan; tuition reimbursement, and many other benefits. If you would like to contribute to our important mission and work collegially in a professional organization that values intelligence, integrity and initiative consider a career with NASD. For consideration, please apply online at www.nasd.com and click on the “Job Postings” link.

ymh_ymh_ymh's picture
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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.
 
 

ymh_ymh_ymh's picture
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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.
 

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

Hey, I hope you're right.  Would be nice if the change of names meant a sincere change in the administration of NASD.  I for one always believe in giving someone a chance.  Time will only tell.  I too am rooting for Schapiro.
But, I can't help recall the biblical Q&A in which the Devil is asked to identify himself:
And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
 

ymh_ymh_ymh's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-05

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).
 

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

YMH
Let's see --- we agree on Glauber.  Good riddance.
We agree that Schapiro is much different than her predecessor.
But we certainly don't agree that NASD is the "best regulator on the face of the earth."  Fact is, neither did the SEC or the US Dept. of Justice a few years back --- and I'm not sure that the organization has fully abandoned its old ways (or has given up the hope of restoring them).
Let's agree to agree on what we do,  and agree to disagree on the rest.  We're not going to change each other's minds at this point. No point in debating Schapiro's future either.  Time will tell.  Time will tell!

ymh_ymh_ymh's picture
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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.

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

I see no meaningful indication that the SEC is "reforming itself."  Further, I cannot imagine how a government regulator with plenary powers can model itself after a self-regulator.
Fact of the matter is that as corrupt as Wall Street may be, nothing is more corrupt than our state and federal governments.  The problem at SEC is no different than that at so many other government agencies: hiring of hacks and cronies, incompetency, corruption, and favoritism.  As with so many organizations, you have a core group of workers who are normally sincere and dedicated, but then you have an overlay of suffocating management populated by some amazing supervisors but, overwhelmingly, there is a cadre of incompetency that prevents innovation and frustrates competency.
Every so often governments and organizations experience a revolution that tries to set things "right."  Sometimes these movements win.  Sometimes they lose. All too often things only change for a time before reverting back to the same corruption but with new faces.  The SEC cannot get more effective until such time as it brings in new blood, revises its outdated policies, and is prepared to think outside the box.  Securities regulation today is nothing more than reading toe tags in the morgue --- the regulators tell you why a customer was screwed or a broker-dealer mismanaged, but they fail to interdict the problems at a point when they can be fixed and stopped.
Ultimately, regulation is always going to be a failure when its primary mission is to "punish" rather than "detect."  NASD's track record is no better than any other regulator when measured against that metric.  But, as you say, it's a new day with a new Chair --- we'll see what changes Schapiro implements.

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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."

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous

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."

Indyone's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-31

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 foot...it probably won't tak our favorite fungus long to find his way back under a new alias...

Soon 2 B Gone's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-27

rrbdlawyer wrote: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.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Indyone wrote: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 foot...it probably won't tak our favorite fungus long to find his way back under a new alias...banned again?Yet he keeps coming back.What a LOOOOOOOOOSERRRRRRRR!

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