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January 27, 2000
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Laura M. Oatney
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NFA hires new Senior Vice President to head trade practice and market surveillance activities for electronic exchanges
January 27, Chicago - National Futures Association has hired Yvonne J. Downs as Senior Vice-President of Compliance. Downs spent over twenty years at the Chicago Board of Trade and headed the exchange's Office of Investigations and Audits for twelve years. Most recently, Downs was the Senior Vice President of Order Routing and the Office of Investigations and Audits.
At NFA, Downs will, among other duties, head the association's trade practice and market surveillance activities for electronic exchanges. NFA is the industrywide self-regulatory organization for the futures industry. In the past NFA's duties have largely focused on firms that are not members of exchanges, such as pool operators and trading advisors, but the association's duties could shift dramatically as the futures industry itself goes through a period of profound change.
"We could not be more pleased," said Robert Wilmouth, NFA's President. "Yvonne is one of the most respected people in the futures industry and she comes to NFA at a very exciting time when we are branching into new regulatory services." Wilmouth explained that, "Our Board predicted last year that as new electronic exchanges emerge they will seek to outsource their self-regulatory responsibilities to NFA. The events of the past twelve months bear that out. We have been contacted by a number of entities that intend to form futures exchanges and that want NFA to perform their regulatory functions." NFA has also offered to conduct financial audits of brokerage firms on behalf of the existing exchanges, an offer which Wilmouth says "remains on the table."
"Competition will affect regulators just as it does exchanges and firms," said Daniel A. Driscoll, NFA's Executive Vice President. "We all need to become more efficient, and we think consolidation of self-regulatory functions within NFA is inevitable. With Yvonne on board, we can take on new responsibilities and perform them at the highest level that everyone expects from NFA."
Ms. Downs commented, "I am looking forward to this tremendous opportunity of becoming part of NFA's vision for the future as it moves forward into an efficient and technologically advanced era."