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Washington (September 7, 2000) – The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) announced today that its general counsel, Karen M. O’Brien, is resigning effective September 30 to become a partner in a new financial services consulting firm.

O’Brien has served as NASAA’s general counsel since late 1991. In this position, O`Brien helped draft federal and state legislation relating to the landmark National Securities Markets Improvement Act of 1996 (NSMIA). She has played a role in several key initiatives in the broker-dealer and investment adviser areas, including the development of an Internet-based central registration depository for broker-dealers and their agents (WebCRD) and a Web-based central registration database for investment advisers and their representatives (IARD). She also worked on revision of the books and records requirements for broker-dealers and commented on regulatory proposals by the SEC, self-regulatory organizations and other regulatory bodies.

O’Brien is joining Judith Poppalardo, Vice President and Associate General Counsel at the Securities Industry Association (SIA), to form the Financial Industry Service Group, an online consulting firm serving the financial services industry.

NASAA Executive Director Marc Beauchamp said, “Karen O’Brien has helped guide this organization through a time of unprecedented change. There are few issues she’s not worked on–from broker/dealer matters to investment adviser regulation, from legislation to model rules. Over the years her counsel has been invaluable.”

Prior to joining NASAA, O`Brien spent four years at the Securities and Exchange Commission in the Division of Corporation Finance. Prior to the SEC, O`Brien was in private practice.