2008 Annual Dinner Breaks All Records
Mary Schapiro Honored with William O. Douglas Award
SEC Chairman Christopher Cox Welcomes Group
The Sixteenth Annual ASECA William O. Douglas Awards Dinner drew its largest attendance ever, with more than 700 SEC alumni, practitioners, industry officials and SEC officials and staff members gathering at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. on Friday, February 8, 2008. Consistent with tradition, the dinner was held in conjunction with the annual PLI program, “SEC Speaks.”
Marti Cochran, then-President of ASECA, opened the very special night by recognizing the former William O. Douglas award winners in attendance, including the first award winner Irving Pollack as well as Stanley Sporkin, Aulana Peters, Ted Levine and David Ruder.
ASECA was honored to have SEC Chairman Christopher Cox provide welcoming remarks. Noting ASECA’s indispensable support for the Commission, Cox noted that 2008 marked the commencement of what will be a two-year celebration of the SEC’s founding, given the passage 75 years ago of the Securities Act of 1933, which preceded the creation of the SEC in 1934. For information on the Seventeenth Annual William O. Douglas Awards Dinner and ASECA’s plans for the 75th anniversary celebration of the SEC, see the box below.
The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the William O. Douglas Award to Mary L. Schapiro, current CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and former SEC Commissioner and Acting SEC Chairman. The Douglas Award is given each year to an SEC alumnus who has contributed to the development of the federal securities laws or has served the financial and SEC community with distinction.
Ms. Schapiro served for six years as an SEC Commissioner, starting in 1988, and was named Acting Chairman in 1993. Following her service at the SEC, she was appointed Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission where she participated in the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairmen of the Federal Reserve Board and the SEC. In 1996, Ms. Schapiro became President of NASD Regulation and was named Vice Chairman in 2002. In 2006, she was named the NASD’s Chairman and CEO. The following year, she led the organization’s consolidation with NYSE Member Regulation to form FINRA.
In her remarks, Ms. Schapiro noted that over the course of her career, the markets have experienced a remarkable transformation, but at the same time, the adage “the more things change, the more they stay the same” rings true. For example, issues such as the impact of derivatives trading on market volatility and the threatened health of financial institutions, global competitiveness and proxy access faced the Commission during her tenure; they continue to confront the markets and the Commission today. Ms. Schapiro noted that such issues are naturally inherent in our markets, and each new generation of SEC staff and Commissioners will be challenged to confront these problems again and again and “push the ball forward inch by inch,” which is how progress is made. Click here for a copy of Ms. Schapiro's speech.
Ms. Schapiro was introduced by Elisse Walter, her friend and colleague for more than 20 years at the SEC, CFTC, NASD and FINRA. Ms. Walter joked that while everyone knows Ms. Schapiro as the consummate professional and regulator, not many know the other side of Mary Schapiro. For example, Ms. Walter noted that Mary is such an animal lover she adopted a dog orphaned after the devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew and once had the Chief Accountant of a federal agency carry a cockroach outside the building because “she couldn’t stand to see it killed.” Click here for a copy of Ms.Walter's introductory remarks.