LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Hilliard Lyons chairman and CEO James R. Allen will ascend to chair of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, effective Oct. 1. Allen has served as chair-elect for the past year, and will succeed Lisa Kidd Hunt, executive vice president of business initiatives at Charles Schwab.
In this leadership role, Allen said he will continue the SIFMA mission of bringing together the shared interests of its more than 400 member firms, with the goal of preserving client choice and supporting the member firms in their efforts to deliver superior service.
“We are in this to serve our clients through rational regulation and a commitment to continuously grow and improve our skill set,” said Allen. “My goal is to shine the light on supporting individual investors at the highest level.”
SIFMA has recently been active in helping shape “Regulation Best Interest,” a rule proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and designed to enhance the quality and transparency of investors’ relationships with investment advisors and broker-dealers. Allen says that it’s crucial that small and mid-size regional firms like Hilliard Lyons are represented by SIFMA, as it allows them to have a voice in the industry’s response to the development of industry regulations like this one, thereby ensuring optimal service to its clients.
“The quality of what our industry does to help individual investors has never been higher,” said Allen. “At Hilliard Lyons, we have a very clear understanding of how smaller investors are served, and we know that the wrong kind of regulation can have unintended repercussions for our clients. We’re now in a position to serve them even better.”
Allen has devoted his entire working career to Hilliard Lyons, having joined the firm in 1981. He has served as chairman and CEO of the company since 2004, and also served as president from 2003-17.
In Louisville, he is the current board chairman of the Jefferson County Public Education Foundation and the 2018 board chair of Greater Louisville, Inc. Allen also serves on the advisory board for the College of Business at the University of Louisville, the board of trustees of Bellarmine University, and the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University.
He has received numerous awards, including the Women 4 Women Heart of Louisville Award in 2017, and the Business First Business Leader of the Year in 2008. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from DePauw University, and an MBA in Finance from The Ohio State University. He is also a chartered financial analyst.