The National Association of Securities Dealers’ plan to split off the Nasdaq Stock Market into a separate, for-profit company will significantly bolster the financial resources and independence of NASD’s regulatory unit, according to Edward Knight, executive vice president and chief legal officer of the NASD.

Pending approval by both the Securities & Exchange Commission and a majority of NASD members, NASD plans to convert Nasdaq into a separate profit-making company later this year. The plan, which was approved by NASD’s board of governors on Tuesday, involves selling a majority of stock in the Nasdaq to NASD members, issuers and market participants in a private placement. NASD will continue to control 22 percent of Nasdaq and 100 percent of NASD Regulation, which will remain an NASD subsidiary.

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