Broker-dealers can expect some organizational changes at the National Association of Securities Dealers within months, said Frank G. Zarb, chairman and chief executive officer of the Washington- based organization.
Mr. Zarb spoke recently at the annual Securities Industry Association conference, just days after completing the historic merger of the Nasdaq stock market and the American Stock Exchange.
Aside from the Nasdaq-Amex market group, a newly created subsidiary of the NASD that incorporates the American exchange, the regulatory side of the business also will change, said Mr. Zarb.
The NASD will create a unit for resolving disputes between brokers and customers, to be called the dispute resolution group, he said. That function currently is part of NASD regulation.
Mr. Zarb also said an NASD goal will be to strengthen "our market integrity" in the world of the Internet.
However, he also hinted at future cuts in the organization made possible by the consolidation of some functions.
"We're looking carefully at ways we can reduce costs throughout the NASD-especially by eliminating duplication of functions," he said.
Mr. Zarb did not say whether such measures would require layoffs, and the association said it was too soon to comment further.
Meanwhile, Mr. Zarb said he would push for greater cooperation not just within the NASD but industrywide.
For example, he said, there is an opportunity for greater cooperation between the NASD and New York Stock Exchange in arbitration cases brought by customers against broker-dealers.
"The industry as a whole needs to take a fresh look at ways to avoid duplication and member costs," Mr. Zarb said. "We should make this area a high priority in 1999."