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New NASAA President Ralph A. Lambiase pledges to focus on increasing cooperation among regulators, maintaining state authority, advancing shareholders’ rights, and examining arbitration

CHICAGO (September 16, 2003) – Ralph A. Lambiase, Connecticut’s Director of Securities, today was named President of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), which represents state and provincial securities regulators in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. He succeeds Christine A. Bruenn, Maine’s Securities Administrator.

In an address at NASAA’s 86th annual conference here, Lambiase stressed the importance of a complementary state and federal regulatory system that is designed to protect investors. He also highlighted the successful role of state securities regulators in protecting investors from fraud and abuse.

“Protecting investors against fraud and punishing those who would commit fraud are fundamental roles of government, be it state, local or federal. Collectively, we can all work together, government, self-regulators and industry to achieve positive results,” Lambiase said.

“Our job is straightforward. We protect the citizens in our states and provinces who invest,” he said. “Political winds won’t change our priorities. We don’t chase regulatory fads. Our sights are sharply and clearly focused on Main Street.”

Lambiase also said he is “deeply grateful” to members of Congress who have been champions of investor protection. “Congressional commitment to integrity in our financial markets, accountability in corporate governance, and full and fair disclosure has helped make our nation’s markets the best in the world,” he said.

Lambiase, who has served previously on NASAA’s Board of Directors as well as several committees and task forces, also invited the Securities and Exchange Commission, state regulators and the self-regulatory organizations to “thoroughly examine” and recommend changes to the arbitration process to increase transparency. “Since our investors are compelled to seek arbitration to resolve disputes with Wall Street, we need to make sure that they are treated fairly,” he said.

Other issues Lambiase identified as NASAA priorities include: directing attention to issues of importance to the protection of corporate shareholders; reaching out to older investors to help them recognize and avoid investment fraud and abuse; coordinating multi-state enforcement actions in a cooperative effort for the protection of all investors.

Lambiase also said he intends to bring attention to the daily investor protection efforts of state securities regulators. “Our securities markets may operate on the Wall Streets of the world, but stocks, bonds and other securities are sold on Main Street, in our neighborhoods, even over our kitchen tables,” he said.

Lambiase is the Director of the Securities and Business Investments Division of the Connecticut Department of Banking. He joined the department in 1977 as Director of Securities Enforcement and Registration and was named Division Director in 1987. Prior to joining the department, he was Assistant Vice President of the Pacific Stock Exchange, based in San Francisco.

NASAA’s new Board of Directors consists of Franklin L. Widmann of New Jersey, Christine A. Bruenn of Maine, Craig Goettsch of Iowa, Guy Lemoine of Quebec, Scott Borchert of Minnesota, Deborah Bortner of Washington, Daphne D. Smith of Tennessee, and S. Anthony Taggart of Utah.

Widmann, Chief of New Jersey’s Bureau of Securities, will succeed Lambiase as NASAA President in the fall of 2004.

For More Information:
Bob Webster, Director of Communications