U.S. SENATE CONFIRMS TWO NEW DIRECTORS FOR SIPC
WASHINGTON, D.C. - November 13, 2002 - Deborah D. McWhinney, president of Schwab Institutional, and Armando J. Bucelo, Jr., a Miami attorney and former Freddie Mac director, were both confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 12, 2002, to serve as the newest directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which maintains a special reserve fund authorized by Congress to help investors at failed brokerage firms.
Ms. McWhinney stated: "I will bring the vigilance and dedication that the role deserves. Individual investors are comfortable knowing that SIPC is behind them if anything should happen, and I will work hard to maintain and strengthen that confidence. In this era of uncertainty about the stock market, SIPC directors should bring nothing less than their full attention to their task … I promise to do so in the tradition of the many directors before me who have helped maintain a solid foundation beneath the strongest capital markets in the world."
Mr. Bucelo said: "I vow to be a strong advocate for fairness and common sense. I do appreciate and welcome the charge for which I have been selected with both eagerness and humility."
SIPC President Michael Don said: "We are delighted at SIPC to have people of the outstanding caliber of Deborah Doyle McWhinney and Armando Bucelo, Jr., joining our board of directors. These are important times at SIPC in terms of conveying a clear sense of our mission to the investing public. It is clear that our new directors will bring considerable energy and perspective to that central task."
Both Ms. McWhinney and Mr. Bucelo were named to the SIPC board of directors by President George Bush. They replace director Albert J. Dwoskin and acting Chairman of the Board Debbie Dudley Branson, respectively. The SIPC board of directors consists of seven individuals, five of whom are appointed by the President of the United States subject to U.S. Senate approval, one by the Secretary of the Treasury and one by the Federal Reserve Board.
Before joining Schwab in February 2001, Ms. McWhinney was group president of Engage Media Services Division, a premier Internet site performance measurement firm. Prior to her career at Engage, she was executive vice president of Business Planning and Strategy for Visa International. The majority of Ms. McWhinney's 17-year career was spent at BankAmerica Corporation, where she held various positions in systems, operations, and marketing in the consumer and wholesale divisions. Schwab Institutional, a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., is a leading provider of custodial, operational and trading support for independent fee-based investment advisors and financial planners. Schwab Institutional represents about $230 billion in assets as of June 30, 2002 or nearly 30 percent of Schwab's client assets and 12 percent of its client accounts.
Mr. Bucelo is a Cuban-born American citizen who has practiced as an attorney for 23 years. He specializes in real estate, corporate and banking. He currently is a director of the National Housing and Development Corporation, which was created in 1997 to help preserve the nation's at-risk affordable housing stock, and is a trustee of Miami-Dade College, the largest community college in the United States. Mr. Bucelo also has been active as a director of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Association (Freddie Mac) and as Cuban-American National Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
SIPC made net advances totaling an estimated $112 million to approximately 179,500 investors in 2001, compared to just $23 million paid out to 1,148 investors in 2000. The payments made by SIPC to investors in 2001 were roughly twice the previous one-year record of $63 million in 1981. The 2001 total included the largest liquidation case ever handled in SIPC's history.
From its creation by Congress in 1970 through December 2001, SIPC has advanced $513 million in order to make possible the recovery of $13.9 billion in assets for an estimated 622,000 investors. SIPC estimates that more than 99 percent of eligible investors have been made whole in the failed brokerage firm cases that it has handled to date.
SIPC is an important part of the overall system of investor protection in the United States. While a number of federal, self-regulatory and state securities agencies deal with cases of investment fraud, SIPC's focus is both different and narrow: Restoring funds to investors with assets in the hands of bankrupt and otherwise financially troubled brokerage firms. The Securities Investor Protection Corporation was not chartered by Congress to combat fraud.
SIPC either acts as trustee or works with an independent court-appointed trustee in a fraud case to recover funds. The statute that created SIPC rules provides that customers of a failed brokerage firm receive all non-negotiable securities that are already registered in their names or in the process of being registered. At the same time, funds from the SIPC reserve are available to satisfy the remaining claims of each customer up to a maximum of $500,000. This figure includes a maximum of $100,000 on claims for cash.
Recovered funds are used to pay investors whose claims exceed SIPC's protection limit of $500,000. SIPC often draws down its reserve to aid investors. Recovered funds also are used to replenish SIPC's reserve in the event that the reserve is tapped in the early stages of a liquidation proceeding.
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