WASHINGTON — Bond Dealers of America announced that former vice chair Larry Bowden has been elected chairman of the group’s board and takes over the post Thursday, the first day of its 2012 fiscal year.

Bowden, executive vice president and director of institutional fixed-income sales and trading at Little Rock, Ark.-based Stephens Inc., succeeds outgoing chairman Michael Marz.

The group also elected eight other board members, including its new vice chairman, Craig Noble, and its new treasurer-secretary, Maud Daudon. Noble is managing director and director of fixed income at Wells Fargo Advisors. Daudon is president of Seattle-Northwest Securities Corp.

Mike Nicholas, the chief executive of BDA, called Bowden a “leader in the industry” and a “chairman who will help BDA continue to grow in 2012.”

“Larry has experience on the institutional and retail side, and in taxable and tax-exempt markets,” Nicholas said in an interview. “Larry is well respected in the industry, and Stephens is a leader in the middle-market regional securities dealer space.”

Bowden said he is honored to have been elected chairman at this “critical time in our economic recovery.” He noted that the BDA is the only group representing middle-market fixed-income securities dealers, and said that increasing government regulation means the BDA must continue to advocation for these “non-bulge-bracket” firms. Bulge bracket companies are large, international financial institutions.

Bowden has worked at Stephens for 29 years, holding several positions, including senior vice president and managing director of professional strategies in the company’s private client group.

Other new directors include John Crawford, executive vice president at Vining Sparks; William Hardy, senior managing director at BB&T Capital Markets; Cindy Higgins, senior vice president and senior managing director at Comerica Securities Inc.; Noe Hinojosa, president and CEO at Estrada Hinojosa; Mark Salter; managing director at National Alliance Securities Inc.; and Martin Vogtsberger, senior vice president and managing director of capital markets at Fifth Third Securities Inc.

BDA’s 15-member board elects its chairman, vice chairman, and treasurer. Other board members are elected by BDA’s members. BDA has 49 member firms, up from 14 in 2008, according to the group.

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