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Ex-Senator Gregg Steps Down as Head of Top Wall Street Lobby

Former U.S. Senator Judd Gregg
Former U.S. Senator Judd Gregg, 66, was named chief executive officer of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association in May. He Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Former U.S. Senator Judd Gregg stepped down as head of Wall Street’s biggest lobbying group, seven months after being named to the post.

The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association said that its president, Kenneth Bentsen, was promoted to chief executive officer “effective immediately.” Gregg will remain with Sifma as a senior adviser, the group said in a statement.

Gregg, 66, was named Sifma’s CEO in May. A New Hampshire Republican, he retired from the Senate in 2011 and had previously served two terms as the state’s governor.

In the statement, Gregg said he decided to give up the top job in part because of its hectic travel schedule, with the added toll of commuting from New Hampshire.

“I was spending too much time out of New Hampshire and traveling a lot, which is not what I wanted to do,” Gregg said in an interview.

Gregg has been a visible spokesman for the industry in both Washington and New York, making frequent media appearances. He helped spearhead a lawsuit Sifma and other trade organizations recently filed against the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, seeking to rein in the agency’s overseas reach.

Sifma has played a major role as the industry sought to influence the hundreds of regulations from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. The group is also taking a lead in fighting legislative efforts to break up “too-big-to-fail” banks. Its members include Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp.

Former Lawmaker

Bentsen joined Sifma as its top in-house lobbyist in 2009. From 1995 to 2003, he was a Democratic member of Congress from Texas.

“Ken’s extensive knowledge of our industry will be critical as we communicate with regulators, Congress and the broader public in the coming years,” said Jim Rosenthal, the chief operating officer of Morgan Stanley who is also the chairman of Sifma, in the statement.

Bentsen is the nephew of Lloyd Bentsen, the late Texas senator and Treasury secretary.

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