Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General  
Bureau of Securities
Franklin Widmann, Chief
 
For Immediate Release:
October 8, 2004
For Further Information Contact:
Genene Morris, Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327

 

Chief of N.J. Bureau of Securities Named President
of North American Securities Administrators Association

NEWARK – Franklin L. Widmann, Chief of the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, the state agency under the Office of the Attorney General that protects investors through its regulation of the securities industry and the sale of securities within or from New Jersey, has been named President of the North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc. (NASAA).

NASAA, created in 1919, is the oldest international organization focused on investor protection. The association represents 66 state, provincial and territorial securities administrators in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Widmann, a Haddonfield native, has spent 20 years in state government service. He was appointed Chief of the New Jersey Bureau of Securities in May 1997 after working eight years with the Bureau. Widmann served as a Deputy Assistant Counsel to the Governor, Deputy Attorney General in the Office of the Attorney General and in various positions within the Bureau of Securities before his appointment as Chief in 1997.

"The members of NASAA are on the front lines in protecting investors and their hard-earned monies from fraud, deception and unethical business practices," Widmann said. "We investigate activities within our respective states, coordinate efforts on multi-state initiatives and work together to regulate the securities industry."

Widmann has served as NASAA President-elect for the past year. Widmann served as the NASAA Broker-Dealer Section Chair for 5 years from 1999-2003, Co-chair of the NASAA Analyst Conflicts of Interest Task Force Steering Committee in 2002, and on the NASAA CRD Steering Committee for several years. Mr. Widmann has also served in various capacities within the NASAA Corporation Finance Section. Mr. Widmann received Outstanding Service Awards from NASAA in October 2002 and September 2003.

Widmann's accomplishments at the New Jersey Bureau of Securities include leading the effort to rewrite the New Jersey law that overhauled and bolstered state regulation of the securities industry in 1997.

Recent enforcement activities by the Bureau of Securities include bringing charges against Allianz Dresdner Asset Management of America LP, PA Distributors LLC (formerly known as Pimco Advisors Distributors LLC), and PEA Capital LLC regarding a fraudulent arrangement that allegedly permitted a major investor to market time more than $4 billion in transactions in mutual funds of the defendants in violation of fund policies and to the detriment of long-term investors. New Jersey received $18 million in a settlement between the parties, the largest penalty ever collected by the State in a securities case.

The New Jersey Bureau of Securities and its 60 employees register and regulate individuals and firms that provide investment advice or sell investment securities in New Jersey. These securities include stocks, bonds, mutual funds and other investment vehicles.

The activities of the Bureau of Securities included bringing suits against companies and individuals for defrauding investors, obtaining restitution on behalf of investors and penalties for the State, and weeding out bad firms and brokers from the securities industry because of fraudulent or dishonest activities.

Widmann received his J.D. degree from Rutgers University - School of Law, Camden, and his A.B. degree in Political Science from Rutgers University. Widmann is admitted to the bar in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Washington State, as well as the United States District Court in New Jersey and the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

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Posted August 2004