Baird Vice Chair John Taft sat down recently with InvestmentNews Senior Reporter Mark Schoeff to offer his perspective on remarks SEC Chairman Gary Gensler delivered at SIFMA’s Annual Meeting. Gensler underscored his continued focus on increasing efficiency and competition in the markets, and his plans to reduce costs out of the middle, where “intermediaries” such as wealth management firms do their work. Gensler described intermediaries as being “the neck of an hourglass” where the grains of sand flowing through are money and risk.

“I certainly don’t see myself as extracting sand from the hourglass,” Taft said a couple of days after Gensler’s speech. “I believe financial services professionals perform a public service. [The financial industry] doesn’t restrict the flow. It facilitates it. When we do what we’re supposed to do, when we play the role society expects us to play, everybody’s better off.”

Read more of Taft’s comments on