Until two years ago the elections for the board of directors of the National Futures Association was a pretty much a sure thing for the incumbents. However, when Doug Bry and Ernest Jaffarian ran as write-in nominees, after not getting the nod from the NFA Nominating Committee, they won election in an upset.
This time around Jaffarian and Bry got the nod from the Nominating Committee and are running as incumbents for re-election. But yet they find themselves pitted against candidates also nominated by the NFA Nominating Committee.
It is a rare thing to see such officially pre-ordained competition in the CTA/CPO category. But that is what has happened. Running against Bry and Jaffarian are two well-qualified candidates for the board.
Adam Cooper and Brendan Kalb are experienced and involved industry players representing Citadel and AQR respectively. They are eminently qualified to be on the board.
However, it is Bry and Jaffarian whom I am voting for and recommending other CTAs and CPOs vote for as well. I have nothing against Mr. Cooper or Mr. Kalb or the firms they represent.
You see, Bry and Jaffarian represent something very valuable for the customers and industry participants right now. They represent change and a healthy skepticism about the status quo. They make the powers that be at and behind the NFA, the entrenched powers of the status quo, uncomfortable. They made them uncomfortable enough that NFA staffers recommended well qualified candidates to run against them.
The powers of the status quo want us all to forget about MF Global, Peregrine Financial Group and more recently the AlphaMetrix black eye. The powers of change, which include Bry and Jaffarian, want to see a pro-active NFA that is more concerned about customers.
Bry and Jaffarian are turning the tide at the NFA Board and deserve more time to change the entrenched approach. They ran the first time because of the inadequate response to MF Global. One could argue there was an inadequate response to AlphaMetrix. They still have work to do and thus deserve more time. They have my vote. If you are a CTA/CPO, I hope they have yours.