The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association named former New Hampshire governor and U.S. senator Judd A. Gregg as its next chief executive officer. Gregg is known for advocating bipartisan approaches to balancing the national budget.

Gregg succeeds Tim Ryan, who left in February to join JPMorgan Chase and Co., the nation’s largest banking firm, as its Global Head of Regulatory Strategy and Policy.

The financial industry advocacy group said Kenneth E. Bentsen Jr., who had been acting as president and CEO since Ryan’s departure, will stay on as president.

Gregg, a Republican, is a former chairman of the Senate Budget Committee. He and another former U.S. Senator, North Dakota Democrat and also a former chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, are known as progenitors of a plan for reshaping the U.S. finances known from the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, often called the Simpson-Bowles plan.

At the outset of this month, Gregg said the country was not as far off from a deal to curb its budget deficit and soaring multi-trillion-dollar debt as is widely feared. At the annual general membership meeting of a fund industry association, he said this nation is “one debt deal away” from leading the world out of recession.

But that will mean cutting spending on entitlements such as Social Security, as well as health care costs. And simplying the tax code, so that it encourages investment and growth. In so doing, tax revenue will gain ground.

If a debt deal gets done, "this economy is going to explode," Gregg told the Investment Company Institute’s membership.

“Judd’s experience as both a governor and legislator will be of tremendous value to SIFMA in bridging the gap between the complexities of the financial markets and the positive impact our markets have on every community across America,” said Chet Helck, SIFMA Chair and CEO Global Private Client Group at Raymond James Financial, in a formal statement announcing Gregg’s appointment.

Gregg was the ranking Republican member on a variety of Senate committees including Appropriations; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. 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.

He currently serves as a co-chair of the bi-partisan Campaign to Fix the Debt. That group was founded by Erskine Bowles and former senator Alan Simpson, the co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. That commission was created by President Obama to come up with a bipartisan solution to the nation’s trillion-dollar annual deficits and $16 trillion debt.

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.

Unchecked, he and Conrad said earlier this month that the nation's debt by 2050 would be double its output.

Bentsen has served at SIFMA as Executive Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy since 2009. 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 on the House Budget Committee.

Bentsen was an active participant in the drafting and enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act.

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