WASHINGTON – Bond Dealers of America is beefing up its federal legislative and regulatory policy staff with the planned addition of two new lobbyists in November and the promotion of one of its current staff members.

The group plans to hire Kelli McMorrow as senior vice president. She will focus on taxable fixed income issues and represent BDA before the House Financial Services Committee and Senate Banking Committee.

McMorrow will join BDA from the Insured Retirement Institute where she has been vice president for federal government affairs.

Previously, she was chief of staff to Rep. Randy Neugebauer, R-Tex. who served on the House Financial Services Committee before deciding last year not to seek an eighth term in the House.

Before that, she worked at Financial Executives International and the Manufactured Housing Institute. McMorrow began her career in Washington in the office of Rep. Donald Manzullo R-Ill., who served in the House from 1993 to 2013.

The bond dealers group plans to hire Brett Bolton as vice president. He will focus on municipal finance issues and will represent BDA before the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.

Bolton will join BDA from the National League of Cities where he has been the principal associate for federal advocacy. He also has been active in the Municipal Bonds for America coalition.

Before joining NLC, he was deputy director of the State of Florida’s Office of Federal Affairs. He also was staff assistant to Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., who served in the House from 2011 to 2015.

Justin Underwood, BDA’s policy adviser, has been promoted to director of federal policy and fixed income research.

In his new role, he will focus on developing research and data in support of the BDA’s advocacy positions. He will help develop comment letters, conduct cost-benefit analyses on regulatory proposals and forge partnerships with research organizations to further the BDA’s mission and advocacy efforts.

BDA CEO Mike Nicholas
Mike Nicholas, chief executive officer of Bond Dealers of America

“At this critical time when Congress and the regulatory agencies are taking a fresh look at financial services regulation, we are making sure the voices of Main Street firms, which provide crucial liquidity, infrastructure financing and jobs, are heard loudly and clearly on Capitol Hill and in regulatory chambers,” stated Mike Nicholas, CEO of the BDA. “Kelli and Brett bring significant legislative and trade association experience to the BDA, while Justin will substantially bolster our research capabilities. We are extremely excited to work with all of them on the critical issues facing Main Street and our members.”

BDA is a Washington, DC-based trade group that represents securities dealers and banks whose primary focus is the U.S. fixed income markets. It is affiliated with the American Securities Association and the Equity Dealers of America.

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