News Release

Individual Investor Office Established by NASD

Washington, D.C.--The National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD), today announced it has created the Office of Individual Investor Services to serve the needs and promote the interests of individual investors, and to develop programs to foster increased investor education.

The NASD also announced that Michael Jones, Deputy Director/Counsel for the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Office of Public Affairs, Policy Evaluation, and Research, has been named the new office's Director. He is scheduled to join the NASD in mid-August.

Working closely with officials at the NASD and its two subsidiaries, NASD Regulation, Inc., and The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc., Jones will build an outreach program that targets individual investors, who today face increasingly complex decisions and investment choices. In doing so, he will also work with existing organizations that represent individual investors such as the American Association of Individual Investors and the National Association of Investors Corporation, as well as with other regulatory and self-regulatory organizations, and the industry itself.

"In carrying out our historic mandate to promote just and equitable principles of trade for the protection of investors, we have an obligation to consider the views of investors large and small," said NASD President and Chief Executive Officer Joseph R. Hardiman, "and creating this office will help us do that. Making information available to investors through forums, publications, and today's communications technologies such as the Internet is an ever-increasing responsibility for securities industry professionals and the organizations that regulate them. With almost two decades of experience in communications and securities law, Michael has a broad understanding of the issues involved and the ability to get the job done."

The creation of this office was one of the many changes endorsed by the NASD Select Committee on Structure and Governance. Headed by former Senator Warren Rudman of New Hampshire, the committee noted that, "in accordance with the principles of effective governance endorsed by this Committee, the NASD is in the process of creating an office dedicated to representing the interests of individual investors and making certain that those interests are taken into account in policy and rule making." The committee's report was released in September 1995.

"In view of the phenomenal rise in the number of individual investors over the past decade, there is a growing need to identify and address emerging issues pertaining to this important segment of the market," Jones said. "I am pleased to be part of the NASD's continuing efforts to take a proactive approach to investor protection."

The office's primary responsibility will be to work with NASD Regulation and The Nasdaq Stock Market to develop investor education and protection programs. The office, among other things, will:

  • Analyze trends in customer complaints and disciplinary actions, and then move quickly to provide education where necessary;
  • Work with investor associations and other organizations with an interest in investment issues;
  • Develop targeted investor education materials and distribute them widely; and
  • Organize investor forums.

At the SEC since September 1993, Jones provides the Commission with a wide variety of legal counsel, communications services, and legislative analysis. Prior to joining the SEC, Jones founded and operated his own consulting firm. Jones was the communications director and press secretary for Sen. Bill Bradley (D-NJ) from 1989-1991, where he served as the Senator's chief spokesman and managed all of the office's media relations and communications programs. Jones previously served as public relations director for the March of Dimes, worked for the international public relations firm Burson- Marsteller, and was a partner at the law firm of Hayes & White.

He received his B.A. magna cum laude from Boston College, and his J.D. from Boston College of Law. Jones is a member of the Boston College Board of Trustees.