2013 Annual Meeting: Invitation from Mr. Kenneth E. Bentsen

This is the second of a special two part post from SIFMA’s senior management. Read the first post, a letter from SIFMA’s CEO, former Senator Judd Gregg.

Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr. was recently appointed as President of SIFMA, having previously served as Executive Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy. Mr. Bentsen served as a Member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas from 1995 to 2003, where he sat on the Financial Services and Budget Committees. He has also served as President of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA), Managing Director of Public Strategies, Inc., and an investment banker specializing in municipal and mortgage finance.

SIFMA announced new leadership in May; how are you working with Senator Gregg to achieve SIFMA’s mission?

Senator Gregg is focused on rallying the public about the need for preserving efficient U.S. capital markets and cost-effective access to credit. My role continues to be placing SIFMA as a productive and substantive participant in the regulatory reform process. We provide regulators with information, studies and analysis to help them craft rules that work and create certainty. We have been in support of financial regulatory reform from the start, but the process is far from over. We will continue to be engaged on behalf of our members and the industry at large to strengthen our markets and restore faith and confidence in our financial system.

Our leadership team communicates effectively at every level – with our members, with the government, with regulators, and with the people who look to financial services to help them achieve their goals.

What is the policy and regulatory agenda in Washington today?

The capital markets reach into every corner of our lives, so SIFMA’s mandate is just as broad. We support comprehensive housing finance reform so that consumers have access to mortgage credit to purchase a home. We support a uniform fiduciary standard of conduct that would hold both broker-dealers and investment advisers to the same robust standard when providing personalized advice about securities to their individual retail clients. We support end-user access to derivatives markets, and transparency in them. We support further enhancing the resiliency of money market funds while at the same time preserving their important benefits for investors, government bodies, and corporate entities. We support adoption of free trade agreements that ensure U.S. competitiveness. We support comprehensive tax reform and believe that modernization of the Internal Revenue Code is critical to the future economic well being of our country.

Underlying every one of our positions is our partnership with the consumer, and our desire to maintain America’s competitive advantage as deepest and most liquid capital markets in the world.

Who will be at SIFMA’s Annual Meeting this year?

SIFMA’s Annual Meeting is the must-attend event for leaders of the financial services industry from across the spectrum, including banks, broker-dealers and asset managers from large, regional and small firms. This year, these executives will meet with prominent policymakers, thought leaders and financial media to explore our common goal – the role of financial services in providing the capital to fuel the U.S. economy and enhance prosperity for all Americans.

I am pleased that so many members of our regulatory community will join us to discuss their agendas. I am particularly pleased to welcome Mary Jo White, the recently sworn in Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In addition to our keynote and featured speakers, this year SIFMA will introduce targeted breakout sessions offering a deep-dive into business, legal, compliance and operational issues impacting our financial markets. Executives from FINRA, including Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rick Ketchum, will discuss their priorities for 2014. Representatives from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), European Commission and Federal Reserve will discuss prudential regulation. Additional panels will discuss Dodd-Frank implementation, swaps regulations, wealth management and housing finance reform. CLE credits will be available for select panels.

SIFMA’s Annual Meeting is the one place you can get a comprehensive view of the state of the U.S. capital markets. It is critical that the industry stay engaged as the regulatory reform process continues to unfold. We have to manage risk, but not cripple liquidity. We have to protect investors, but still provide them choice. We have to get it right – the stakes are just too high for anything less.

To register for SIFMA’s 2013 Annual Meeting, Nov. 11-12 in NYC, visit www.sifma.org/annual2013.

Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr.