CORONADO, Calif. -- The securities industry needs to act on matters that may jeopardize investor confidence before Such problems attract the attention of federal regulators, a top official of the National Association of Securities Dealers stressed yesterday.

"Our responsibilities to the investing public are best achieved by diligently fulfilling our self-regulatory obligations, tasks that obviously begin with the firms themselves," Joseph R. Hardiman, president and chief executive officer of NASD, said in an opening speech at the association's fall securities conference.

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