News Release

NASD Regulation Marks Second Anniversary of Mediation Program; New 'Settlement Weeks' Announced

Washington, D.C.--On the second anniversary of its mediation program, NASD Regulation, Inc., today announced that the program has achieved an 80 percent settlement rate accounting for almost 850 cases in the last two years. Mediation is a non-binding dispute resolution tool where both parties voluntarily choose to resolve their disputes.

NASD Regulation also announced the debut of mediation "Settlement Weeks" in five cities across the country this fall. To encourage investor participation, NASD Regulation’s 500 mediators will serve at reduced rates during Settlement Week.

In the last six months alone, the number of cases going to mediation has increased each month¾with most cases being closed in 60 to 90 days. In a recent survey of mediation program participants, 98 percent said they would use the program again.

"The overwhelming success of the mediation program is very important. This program provides a key mechanism for resolving disputes quickly and inexpensively. I am pleased that investors, brokerage firms, and brokers are increasing their use of mediation to resolve their disputes," said National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President Frank G. Zarb.

Beginning later this month, investors with small claims will be encouraged to use mediation as a cost-effective and expeditious alternative when NASD Regulation begins holding Settlement Weeks in: Fort Lauderdale, FL (September 8-12); New York, NY (October 13-17); Houston, TX (November 10-14); Los Angeles, CA (December 1-5); and San Francisco, CA (December 8-12).

During the designated week, each NASD Regulation office will focus its staff, facilities, and resources on resolving disputes through mediation. To encourage investors to try mediation, significant cost savings will be offered. For claims under $30,000, a three-hour mediation will cost $150 per party, a savings of at least 50 percent. For larger claims, eight hours of mediation will cost each party $600, half of which can be applied toward the party’s arbitration costs if the matter is not resolved in mediation.

"The mediation alternative is here to stay. Developing Settlement Weeks gives investors another tool to use in settling their disputes fairly and quickly," said NASD Regulation Executive Vice President for Dispute Resolution Linda D. Fienberg.

The NASD Regulation Mediation Program allows each party to choose from lists of mediators with a variety of backgrounds. If claims that are originally brought in mediation are not settled, NASD Regulation’s arbitration program offers investors another alternative.

More information on mediation is available from NASD Regulation’s Director of Mediation, Kenneth L. Andrichik, at 212-858-4400.

NASD Regulation oversees all U.S. stockbrokers and brokerage firms. NASD Regulation, and The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc., are subsidiaries of the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (NASDÒ), the largest securities-industry self-regulatory organization in the United States.