The Securities Industry Association ushered in a new chairman at its annual convention in Florida earlier this month. John L. Steffens, executive vice president of Merrill Lynch & Co., said the big challenge for the industry is to enhance public trust and confidence in securities markets. He also issued a call for functional regulation of bank securities activities. Excerpts follow:

The leaders of our new Congress have made it clear that a lot of reforms we in the securities industry have advocated for years now have a very real chance of being enacted.

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