About the ASA

The American Securities Association (ASA) exclusively represents the interests of “Main Street” financial services companies. We provide more complete representation, a leadership platform, and a voice for middle market financial services companies and their chief executives.

Our members are investment banks, broker dealers, financial advisors, and wealth managers who advise families and individuals on their investments, who raise capital for schools, hospitals and states. We advise companies on their growth whether it comes organically or by acquisition. In short, we are at the core of job creation, wealth preservation, and increasing prosperity.

Through direct advocacy, strategic communications, and grassroots political outreach, the ASA will advance the business, market, regulatory, and legislative issues of unique interest to America’s middle-market and regional financial services firms in Washington D.C. ASA activities will include regular Board meetings allowing members to discuss and define important policy issues, as well as key regulator and policymaker meetings in Washington, D.C. exclusively dedicated to matters of concern to middle market capital markets and wealth management firms.

The ASA is an umbrella organization, affiliated with the Bond Dealers of America (BDA) and the Equity Dealers America (EDA) who are sister organizations representing the interests of their members.

ASA Mission

Financing the Growth and Prosperity of America

We believe in competitive and efficient financial markets and fair dealings for all. Our members tend to be smaller in asset size than Wall Street firms and we are headquartered and operate in geographically diverse regions of the United States. We assert that, on a level playing field, our members are more than capable of Financing the Growth and Prosperity of America in our cities, towns and states than the largest of our competitors.

We are eager to compete with any firm, large or small, but recognize that since the Great Recession our members have borne the burden of regulation primarily aimed at firms which have come to be known as “too big to fail”. Our members did not create the crisis, nor do we pose systemic risk to U.S. markets or the American economy. We seek differentiated regulation which appropriately takes into account a financial firm’s size, business model and economic risk.

Members of the ASA take great pride in providing financial advice and capital to Main Street and demand a level playing field so our firms can help our clients and communities grow and enjoy new levels of prosperity..

Founding Principles

  • Members of the American Securities Association are engaged in “Financing the Growth and Prosperity of America” and are proud to do so within our remarkable American system of free enterprise capitalism, which, though under attack, has provided the most freedom and prosperity of any competing system.
  • In our various financial services business, size does not guarantee integrity or competence.
  • Regulation has become undifferentiated and excessive leading to competitive disadvantages to heartland firms.
  • A financial services industry dominated by a very small number of very large firms is not healthy for our country.
  • Our members deserve a clear and undiluted voice in legislative and regulatory matters regardless of their small scale or geographic location.
  • Our firms, their employees and managements, are ready to organize to overcome structural impediments to their success. The ASA will play a key role in their effort to do that.

Frequently Asked Questions

The American Securities Association and the Equity Dealers Association are being formed to advance the advocacy interests of middle market securities and investment companies. The Bond Dealers of America, which was launched eight years ago, has been tremendously successful in representing the interests of middle market firms active in U.S. fixed income markets. The new ASA and EDA will expand the representation to encompass entire organizations.
Members of the ASA and the EDA represent America’s Main Street investment companies, which have unique business, market and regulatory needs. The mission of the ASA is to provide more complete representation, a leadership platform and a voice for middle market investment companies and their leadership. The ASA will work to advance the financing of the nation’s infrastructure, the creation of jobs and increased prosperity through the promotion of free market capitalism and a low cost flow of capital. The ASA will also build upon the public’s trust and confidence in America’s middle market and regional investment companies by enhancing brand awareness and effectively communicating its importance.

The mission of the EDA is to represent the retail and institutional interests of middle market financial services firms in the U.S. equity capital markets through federal advocacy and public relations. Specifically, the EDA will work with its members, regulators, and policymakers to promote fair, efficient, and competitively balanced equity markets, to advance the creation of new jobs and increased prosperity on Main Street. EDA members represent the interests of the retirees, they provide main street businesses with access to capital, and they advise hardworking Americans how to create and preserve wealth. That is the powerful message which we believe will resonate deeply with Washington policymakers and regulators who represent almost every district across the country where EDA members and their professionals are located. The EDA will provide a platform for its members to shape and promote the Association’s advocacy efforts, as well as to develop best practices, surveys, and events that directly benefit its member firms and their clients.

The three organizations are closely aligned and will work together to represent the interests of America’s Main Street financial services firms. The ASA will serve as the umbrella organization drawing Board members from both the BDA and the EDA. The BDA will continue to function as it has, concentrating on the unique interests of fixed-income firms. The EDA will operate in the same manner, focusing on U.S. equity capital markets. Formation of the ASA and the EDA immediately provides more complete representation of U.S. headquartered middle market and regional investment firms.
Membership in the EDA is open to any financial services firm with a focus on the equity capital markets and/or private client wealth management. There are [10] founding members of the Association. They are BB&T Securities, Hilltop Securities, Janney Montgomery Scott, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Piper Jaffray, Raymond James Financial, Robert W. Baird & Co., Stephens Inc., Stifel Nicolaus & Company, William Blair & Company, and Wunderlich Securities.
Each association will have its own Board of Directors. The ASA will have 15 C-Suite executives as directors, five chosen by the BDA Board, five by the EDA Board and five at-large directors. The BDA’s Board has 20 directors, while the EDA will initially have [10] directors, one from each of the founding firms.
The EDA has announced it has hired Christopher Iacovella as Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Iacovella has substantial experience in government affairs, public policy and market structure, and has served as Counsel to the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services and Special Counsel and Policy Advisor to CFTC Commissioner Scott O’Malia.

The ASA will not be hiring new staff, its vision will be set by the Board and communicated to the boards of the EDA and the BDA.

The ASA and the EDA, along with the BDA, will provide a number of services to its members. Specifically, they will:

  • Provide a tangible platform in Washington, D.C. for member firms to advance issues of unique importance to middle market and regional investment companies.
  • Work to educate federal policy makers on the capital formation and job creating role of America’s Main Street investment companies.
  • Act as a clearinghouse for industry information and issues.
  • Provide educational opportunities for industry professionals through conferences, seminars and roundtables.
  • Identify regulatory and compliance concerns and develop best practice documents.
  • Survey members on specific issues of importance and issue white papers and other reports on these topics.
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