NASD hires Sylvan to administer testing

Maryland Watch

March 16, 1996

The National Association of Securities Dealers announced yesterday that it has agreed to a 10-year contract with Sylvan Learning Systems Inc. under which the Columbia-based company will provide computerized testing for the association's broker certification program.

The finalized contract, which was approved by NASD's board of governors yesterday, replaces a letter of intent that the association and Sylvan signed six weeks ago. The agreement will increase fivefold the number of sites where the nation's 507,000 registered brokers can take certification exams.

The announcement of the letter of intent on Jan. 23 was preceded by a sharp run-up in Sylvan's stock, which jumped from $32.50 to $35.125 within a space of 18 minutes. The timing of the run-up prompted the NASD to launch an investigation to see whether insider trading was involved.

Mark Beauchamp, an NASD spokesman, said the association is treating the contract and the trading questions as separate matters. "The investigation is continuing and will continue as long as it takes to resolve the matter," he said.

Pub Date: 3/16/96

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