In a conference call last Wednesday, The Bond Market Association (BMA) and the Securities Industry Association (SIA) announced that their boards of directors voted to merge the two organizations, creating the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA). As for the American Securitization Forum (ASF) and the European Securitization Forum (ESF), both affiliates of the BMA, the merger simply means that these organizations will become affiliates of the new organization, which goes for all other affiliate divisions of the merged entities.

The merger, which will reunite the organizations that were previously joined until a split in 1976, will allow the creation of a single, unified and more powerful voice in the market. Although no figures were released during the call, the organizations hope SIFMA will save time, money and resources.

"SIFMA will aggressively promote efficient global capital markets, foster the development of new products and services and advance responsible market practices which benefit all market participants," said Edward Frost, chairman of the BMA and chief administrative officer of Goldman Sachs. "This new merged association will enable us to pursue these goals more efficiently with the optimal use of our members' resources."

Marc Lackrtiz, SIA president, and Micah Green, BMA president and CEO, will act as co-CEOs of the new company for what is most likely an interim period. Moreover, the new board will have 32 to 35 members with representation from large global firms, middle market and smaller U.S. companies, non-U.S. firms and asset managers, to ensure appropriate representation.

In terms of structure, SIFMA will have three business groups (capital markets group, private client group and the asset management group) and three regional boards (a U.S. regional board, a European board and an Asian board) under the new and yet- to-be- formed board of directors. Dues are not expected to increase during the first year, and members have a good chance of seeing a reduction in the future. SIFMA will have offices in New York and Washington, D.C.

(c) 2006 Asset Securitization Report and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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