News Release

Werblow Chosen as Independent Consultant

Washington, D.C.--The National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASD) today announced that it had retained Frederick M. Werblow, CPA, and retired partner of Price Waterhouse LLP, as an independent consultant to review and report to the NASD's Audit Committee on progress the NASD is making in fulfilling the undertakings it committed to perform in settlement of the recent administrative proceedings brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

At periodic intervals over the next three years, the NASD Audit Committee will, in turn, report the findings of the independent consultant to the NASD Board of Governors and the SEC.

For over 30 years, Mr. Werblow worked with investment companies, their directors/trustees, and the investment management industry. At Price Waterhouse, he was the Global Chairman--Investment Management Industry Services Group. In this capacity, he served as the engagement partner for U.S. and offshore mutual funds managed/sponsored by major banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies, and leading investment advisory firms.

In addition, Mr. Werblow has frequently served as an independent consultant pursuant to settlements with organizations regulated by the SEC. These assignments have included the review of the investment company and adviser operations of several major securities firms to determine their compliance with federal securities laws pursuant to SEC orders.

Mr. Werblow also chaired the SEC Advisory Committee on Improving Reporting for Investment Companies and Advisers. It was that committee that recommended use of a simplified prospectus, updating the SEC rules on financial statements and reducing extraneous data in annual reports.

Mr. Werblow will be assisted in his work by Dan K. Webb, a partner in the law firm of Winston & Strawn, who will serve as counsel to the independent consultant, and Robert E. Butler, Partner in charge of Regulatory Consulting at Price Waterhouse LLP.