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SEC Approves NYSE Regulatory Changes

by Glen Shapiro,, New York

19 December 2003

Voting on Wednesday, the US Securities and Exchange Commission approved sweeping reforms to the way that the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) regulates itself.

The changes, approved unanimously by the five commissioners, last month achieved the support of 98% of the NYSE's members. In a statement at the time, the Exchange announced that:

"The members (have) approved the establishment of an independent board of directors with full fiduciary responsibility to supervise regulation, governance, compensation and internal controls."

"The board of directors will appoint a board of executives composed of constituent representatives who will meet regularly and develop recommendations on NYSE marketplace operations, membership issues, listed company issues, and public issues relating to market structure and performance."

"The board of directors will also appoint a Chief Regulatory Officer who will report to the board's Regulatory Oversight Committee, not the Exchange's CEO."

Separately, the exchange's 1,366 members also approved the appointment of eight individuals to serve on the board of directors.

Speaking following the SEC's approval of the reform proposals this week, chairman of the regulator, William Donaldson revealed that in addition to the aforementioned measures, the NYSE has agreed to separate the roles of chairman and chief executive officer, in order to prevent too much executive authority being concentrated in one individual.

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