The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board plans to address the absence of black professionals on its board in the nominating process for its next slate of members. the chairman of the board said yesterday.

But the board is not making any promises that a black professional will get the nod.

"We are going to make every effort to have a good, broad, diverse class coming in," said Robert H. Drysdale, whose one-year term as MSRB chairman began Oct. 1.

Drysdale, president and chief executive officer of PNC Securities Corp. of Pittsburgh, made his comments at an MSRB briefing for journalists in New York City.

Each year, five new members are elected to the 15-member board for a three-year term that begins on Oct. 1.

Last month, the board came under fire when a black investment banker, Napoleon Brandford 3d, complained because the MSRB has never had a black member since its inception in 1975. In a Sept. 9 letter, Brandford asked the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to call for a restructuring of the board and to seek the resignation of executive director Christopher Taylor.

Brandford is vice chairman of Grigsby Brandford & Co., a San Francisco-based investment bank.

"If anything, that letter will make us even more aware" of trying to have "broad diversity and going after quality people" in the selection process, said Drysdale.

The MSRB consists of five representatives of bank dealers, five representatives of securities firms, and five public members not affiliated with a bank dealer or securities firm.

Annually, the MSRB appoints a nine-member nominating committee consisting of six board members and three people from the municipal industry and the public who are not members. The nominating committee solicits recommendations for nominees and nominates one person for each position to be filled. The board then accepts or rejects the nominees.

So far, Drysdale has selected a chairman for the nominating committee, but the name is not expected to be announced until January, Taylor said.

In 1995, five new members will be added to the board: a securities firm representative, two bank representatives, and two public representatives, Taylor said.

In January or February, the nominating committee will publish a public notice seeking nominees. New board members are generally announced in late summer.

"The board constantly looks to have a broad diversity in membership," Taylor said. "It'll definitely be part of the process.

In response to a question about whether this meant a black person would be elected to serve on the board next year, the executive director said, "I don't know."

The first woman was elected to the MSRB board in 1982, Taylor said. The current board has two female members, Aimee S. Brown, a principal of Artemis Capital Group Inc., and Alice W. Handy, treasurer of the University of Virginia.

The current board also has an Hispanic member, Edward J. Reinoso, president of Reinoso & Co., a New York City-based investment bank.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.