Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on January 09, 2024

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What Is the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association?

The Securities Industry and Fl Markets Association (SIFMA) is a trade association that represents securities firms, banks, and asset managers in the United States.

The association aims to promote policies and practices that expand and improve the securities industry and increase global competitiveness.

SIFMA advocates for policies that support investor protection, global competitiveness, and economic growth. It also provides research and educational resources for industry professionals and hosts several industry events annually.

History and Background

SIFMA's history can be traced to the Investment Bankers Association of America (IBA), established in 1912. The Association's primary objective was to represent the interests of brokerage firms that were members of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).

In 1971, the Investment Bankers Association of America merged with the Association of American Stock Exchange Firms (ASEF) to become the Securities Industry Association (SIA). The SIA's mission was to represent the interests of the securities industry.

An independent organization, the Public Securities Association (PSA), was formed in 1976 by incorporating the Municipal Securities and Government Bonds Committees of the IBA, established in 1918.

This new organization represented securities firms and banks involved in the Treasury, federal agency securities markets, and municipal securities markets.

The Bond Market Association underwent an expansion and a name change in 1997 to reflect its broader representation of debt market securities beyond its original scope.

SIFMA, the current organization, was formed by merging SIA and TBMA. Although it started a new chapter, it built upon the shared history of its predecessor organizations.

SIFMA now represents broker-dealers, banks, and asset managers whose one million employees provide access to the capital markets. It has raised over $2.5 trillion for businesses and municipalities in the U.S.

Furthermore, SIFMA serves clients with over $18.5 trillion in assets and manages more than $67 trillion in assets for individual and institutional clients, including mutual funds and retirement plans.

The organization has offices in New York and Washington, D.C., and is a member of the U.S. regional Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA).

Membership and Structure

SIFMA's membership comprises over 500 securities firms, banks, and asset managers, including domestic and foreign institutions.

The association offers several membership categories: full members, associate members, and affiliate members.

Full members are those that are primarily engaged in the business of securities brokerage, investment banking, or asset management.

Associate members provide services to the securities industry, such as law or accounting firms. Affiliate members support the industry, such as media organizations or academic institutions.

SIFMA's organizational structure ensures members have a voice in the association's decision-making processes.

The Board of Directors comprises senior executives from member firms elected to serve two-year terms. The Board sets the association's policy priorities and oversees its operations.

SIFMA has several committees focused on specific industry areas, such as capital markets, compliance, and legal and municipal securities.

SIFMA’s Membership Categories

Advocacy and Public Policy

SIFMA's advocacy efforts focus on promoting policies and practices supporting a healthy and competitive securities industry.

The association works closely with regulators and policymakers to ensure that industry perspectives are considered in developing new rules and regulations.

One of SIFMA's key policy initiatives is promoting investor protection.

The association has been a vocal advocate for implementing a uniform fiduciary standard for broker-dealers and investment advisers. SIFMA has also supported efforts to improve disclosure requirements for complex financial products.

SIFMA also advocates for policies that support the industry's global competitiveness. The association has strongly supported free trade agreements promoting U.S. financial institutions' access to international markets.

Additionally, SIFMA has called for tax code reforms to support economic growth and job creation.

Research and Education

SIFMA's research is designed to provide insights into industry trends and market developments.

The association's research covers various topics, including market structure, regulation, and economic policy. SIFMA also produces a variety of publications, including newsletters, research papers, and reports.

SIFMA offers several educational programs and resources for industry professionals. The association's educational offerings include webinars, conferences, and training programs.

Additionally, SIFMA collaborates with academic institutions to provide industry-specific courses and training.

Industry Events

SIFMA hosts several industry events annually, including conferences, seminars, and webinars. The association's events provide opportunities for industry professionals to connect and stay up-to-date on the latest industry trends and developments.

One of SIFMA's flagship events is its Annual Meeting.

The event brings together industry leaders, policymakers, and regulators to discuss the industry's critical issues. The Annual Meeting also features keynote speakers and panel discussions on market structure, regulatory reform, and the global economy.

SIFMA also hosts several conferences throughout the year focusing on specific industry areas. For example, the Fixed Income Market Structure Seminar covers developments in the fixed-income market.

At the same time, the Compliance and Legal Society Annual Seminar focuses on compliance and legal issues facing the industry.

News and Publications

SIFMA produces a variety of publications that provide insights into industry trends and developments. The association's publications include newsletters, research papers, and reports.

SIFMA's publications are designed to be accessible to a wide range of industry professionals, from those new to the industry to seasoned veterans.

SIFMA's flagship publication is SmartBrief, which summarizes industry news and developments daily. The association also produces a quarterly magazine, SIFMA Insights, which features an in-depth analysis of key industry issues.

SIFMA has a variety of research papers and reports on topics such as market structure, regulation, and economic policy.

Conclusion

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association is an essential organization that represents the securities industry and financial markets in the United States.

Through advocacy efforts, research and education programs, industry events, and publications, SIFMA provides valuable insights into the industry's critical issues.

As the securities industry and financial markets evolve, SIFMA will remain a vital voice for industry professionals and policymakers alike.

To navigate the ever-changing landscape of the financial markets successfully, working with an expert in wealth management is crucial. Contact a qualified professional today to ensure that your financial future is secure.

Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.

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