WASHINGTON — Ken Bentsen was appointed president and chief executive officer of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association on Thursday, replacing former Sen. Judd Gregg, who stepped down to become a senior advisor to the group.

Gregg, who joined SIFMA in May, said in a release, "My decision to step down as CEO of SIFMA does not in any way diminish my commitment to and involvement in promoting the critical role a vibrant capital markets system plays in helping Americans succeed and Main Street prosper, but only reflects my personal need to spend less time commuting to Washington from New Hampshire and slowing a hectic schedule."

Bentsen, a former House member from Texas who sat on the House Financial Services Committee and its predecessor committee from 1995 to 2003, had been SIFMA's president, and was the group's executive vice president of public policy and advocacy since 2009.

Before joining SIFMA, he was president of the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association. He also previously served as an investment banker with George K. Baum & Co. and the former Drexel Burnham Lambert, Inc., which he specialized in municipal and mortgage finance.

He as a B.A. from the University of St. Thomas and an M.P.A. from American University.

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