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For Immediate Release
September 03, 2002

For more information contact:

    Larry Dyekman 312-781-1372 (NFA)
    Jennifer Bucko 312-781-1373 (NFA)
    Nancy A. Condon 202-728-8379 (NASD)
    Michael Shokouhi 202-728-8304 (NASD)

NFA, NASD announce joint launch of Web-based proficiency training for security futures products

Chicago, IL and Washington, DC National Futures Association (NFA) and NASD today announced they will jointly launch a Web-based training program for registered securities and futures representatives who plan to sell security futures products to their customers. The program will be available on both organizations' Web sites beginning on Tuesday, September 3, and will be offered at no charge.

The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 (CFMA) lifted the ban on single stock futures and narrow-based security indices (security futures). The CFMA also required NFA and NASD to adopt proficiency requirements related to these new products. Over the past several months, both organizations have developed similar rules to meet the CFMA's requirements. These rules state that any currently registered securities or futures professionals who intend to engage in security futures business must complete a training program covering security futures. NFA, NASD and other industry organizations have developed a course content outline for such training programs.

In an effort to provide a convenient, efficient method for firms to provide their employees with the necessary training, NFA and NASD, in partnership with the Institute for Financial Markets (IFM), have developed a Web-based training program. The training program consists of five modules: 1) stocks and stock options, 2) futures contracts, 3) security futures products, 4) regulatory requirements for security futures, and 5) supervision of the offer and sale of security futures. The training program will introduce securities professionals to basic futures concepts and terminology, and futures professionals to basic securities concepts and terminology. The training program devotes two modules to security futures products. The first explains these new products, and the second discusses the new regulatory framework. The last module addresses issues relevant for supervisory personnel.

Individuals registered only with NFA should access the program through NFA's Web site (www.nfa.futures.org), while those who are registered to sell securities should access the training through NASD's Web site (www.nasd.com). Once the training is completed, the individual can print off a certificate of completion that can be copied and given to the firm for its files. In addition, NFA and NASD will electronically capture information about a registrant's completion of the course. This information will be available to member firms and eventually tied into NFA's Background Affiliation Status Information Center (BASIC) and NASD's Central Registration Depository (CRD).

"By collaborating on this program with the NASD and the IFM, we are able to provide a cost-effective, efficient solution to the proficiency training requirement," said Daniel Roth, NFA's Senior Executive Vice-President. "NFA and NASD have common goals providing investor protection and maintaining the integrity of our respective markets. We welcome the opportunity to work together to benefit the entire financial services industry."

NFA is the premier independent provider of innovative and efficient regulatory programs that safeguard the integrity of the derivatives and other financial markets. NFA also offers a variety of cost-effective regulatory services to electronic markets that enable them to sustain market integrity, increase user confidence and add value to their markets. For more information, please visit NFA's Web site at www.nfa.futures.org.

NFA is the premier independent provider of efficient and innovative regulatory programs that safeguard the integrity of the derivatives markets.
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