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MAY 20, 2013 10:29am ET

SIFMA Confirms Judd Gregg as CEO, Names Kenneth Bentsen President

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The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association has confirmed the appointment of former three-term U.S. Sen. Judd A. Gregg as CEO and also appointed former Rep. Kenneth E. Bentsen Jr.—who has been acting president and CEO—as president of the association.

In taking on the post Monday, Gregg said "the fuel" of America's prosperity is "reasonably priced capital and credit"  and "at the center of that, of course, is the membership of SIFMA,'' an organization of 600  capital markets companies.

The two keys to fixing the debt are entitlement reform and tax reform, he said Monday. He did not say that SIFMA would take an active role in brokering or influencing a debt deal, other than to try to assure that whatever deal is reached does bring down the nation's debt to a manageable percentage of its gross domestic product.

Gregg previously was the ranking Republican member on the Appropriations; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees. Prior to joining the U.S. Senate, he served two terms as governor of New Hampshire and four terms as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Gregg currently serves as a co-chair of the bipartisan Campaign to Fix the Debt and served on the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility.

Bentsen has served as executive vice president of Public Policy and Advocacy since 2009 overseeing SIFMA’s legal, legislative and regulatory affairs. Prior to joining SIFMA, he was president of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association. From 1995 to 2003, Bentsen served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas, where he sat on the House Financial Services Committee (and its predecessor House Banking and Financial Services Committee), as well as, separately, on the House Budget Committee. Prior to his service in Congress, Bentsen was an investment banker at a major Wall Street firm and a large regional firm, where he specialized in municipal and mortgage finance.

— Tom Steinert-Threlkeld contributed to this story

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