SIFMA plans to unveil a comprehensive set of recommendations, including potential structural and regulatory options, to improve the “trust and confidence” of both Main Street and institutional investors who have lost faith in the financial industry, said Chet Helck, chair of SIFMA and CEO of Raymond James Financial’s Global Private Client Group.

The recommendations, which have not been finalized but which will be based on six months of “decisive” research on all aspects of the investor and financial communities, will be released at SIFMA’s annual meeting in November, said Helck.

Restoring trust in the financial system has been the “cornerstone of my year as chairman” of SIFMA, said Helck. “It’s been my passion. Trust and confidence is job one.”

“Trust and confidence is really an emotional response,” said Helck. “It’s not a rational evaluation. It’s people’s feelings. If you’re going to understand the impediments to trust and confidence, you have to get into people’s heads.” This belief led to a six-month research project that included surveys of investors, both retail and institutional, academia, regulators and industry players and which sought to determine the “most impactful impediment to people trusting the markets.”

The resulting recommendations, says Helck, will likely encompass suggested changes to industry regulations, practices and transparency. Meanwhile, the organization continues to challenge some of the rules being drafted in response to the Dodd-Frank Act, which also sought to instill more investor confidence in the markets. SIFMA CEO Judd Gregg recently called Dodd-Frank a “mutated camel” for what he saw as a lack of consistency and logic in the structure of its proposals.

Without going into specifics of the SIFMA plan, which are in development, Helck said “what I think the most important thing I can say now is that the industry recognizes the need to address it and is committed to finding solutions.”

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