New York Stock Exchange officers will be prohibited from serving on the boards of listed companies under new rules unveiled Thursday. The NYSE announced 10 reforms that it said will go into effect immediately, including the public disclosure of Big Board officials' pay. Also, during the next few months, the NYSE governance committee will seek input from investors, listed companies and members. The committee will then report any new suggestions to NYSE officials. "The committee, at
NYSE Chairman Dick Grasso's request, plans to step back and take a thorough and deliberate look at the exchange's governance, with input from all constituents, and make whatever additional recommendations are appropriate," said H. Carl McCall, who co-chairs the committee with fellow director Leon E. Panetta. "At the same time, we quickly concurred with Dick that there were measures that the board could adopt immediately, that would be beneficial and clearly signal our commitment to significant and positive change," McCall added. Grasso himself is a member of the board of Home Depot ( HD), whose stock is listed on the NYSE. He was a member of the board of another NYSE company, Computer Associates ( CA), before saying last year that he would step down . His position on those corporate boards had led some to question whether there was a conflict of interest inherent in his participation as a director of listed companies. Two other top NYSE officials are directors of companies listed on the exchange. Grasso and the other two plan to continue in their posts until the companies' next annual meetings at the latest, according to a Dow Jones report, but they could step down sooner if replacements are named before then. "The board endorses the committee's recommendations as a swift first step toward strengthening the exchange's own governance," Grasso said in a statement.
He added, "The panel's initial report is consistent with our overarching principle of demanding the highest standards in our own governance, as we do of our listed companies. The board looks forward to the committee's continued exploration of how to transform our structure and practice to make them better reflect our unique obligation and commitment to the public interest." The Dow Jones report also indicated that Grasso declined to comment about an ongoing investigation into trading practices among its specialists.