Organizers have created the Utah Securities Association in the hope of forging a better relationship between the public and private sectors.

Gary Teran, the association's president, said the association will serve as a support system, as well as a facilitator of communications with state legislators and regulators. The group plans to support legislation designed to "improve the regulatory process with respect to industry views," organize and promote educational programs, promote industry growth and allow industry members to collectively support charitable causes in the state.

Teran said the state Division of Securities' handling of a case involving himself and others with First Western Advisors Inc. was a factor in creating the association, but he stressed it was not the primary factor.

In a recent legislative-audit report, the division was criticized for its handling of several cases, including the First Western case.

Teran said his group wants to help with investor education in Utah. "Also, we've been concerned of late with the commentary and influence of Wall Street, as opposed to having the information going to investors and coming from our area, so we wanted to have a Utah voice in the securities industry."

The Utah Division of Securities supports the formation of the association. In a prepared statement, division director Keith Woodwell said professional groups "allow licensees to speak with one voice and help the division reach out to members on key issues that affect the industry and public at large. We look forward to meeting with the Utah Securities Association and its members going forward."

All registered representatives, broker dealers and registered investment advisers licenced in Utah may join the association. Details about the organization are available by contacting Kami Asay at 801-930-6500 or [email protected]

E-mail: [email protected]