FASB names Seidman chairman, returning to seven-member board
The Financial Accounting Standards Board named Leslie Seidman chairman, as the board moves back to a seven-member structure. Seidman had been acting chairman since Robert Herz retired Sept. 30. She's been a member of the board since 2003. "As the FASB continues its efforts to address the many significant accounting and financial reporting issues both here in the U.S. and globally, Leslie’s depth of experience with international and domestic financial reporting issues will enhance our progress toward meeting the needs of all of our varied constituents," said John Brennan, chairman of the Financial Accounting Foundation. Prior to joining FASB, Seidman was with JPMorgan as vice president in the accounting policies department and she began her career with Arthur Young & Co. as a member of their audit staff. "The FASB remains committed to developing standards that will provide investors and other capital providers with decision-useful information," Seidman said. "We are at a crucial point in our convergence program, and my fellow board members and I are working in close partnership with the (International Accounting Standards Board) to improve the comparability of financial information around the world." FASB has until June to complete the convergence projects with the International Accounting Standards Board. The boards have been working toward adopting "compatible, high-quality solutions to existing and future accounting issues" for the better part of eight years. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro said Seidman's experience "will facilitate the progress of important initiatives on the FASB agenda as they seek to continually improve the quality of financial reporting standards for the benefit of investors." In August, FASB voted to return to a seven-member board and the foundation trustees plan to name two new directors early in 2011. The board consisted of seven members from 1973 to July 2008. Earlier in 2008, the FAF decided to reduce the number of directors to five following a process that included comments from various accounting and financial organizations. Write to Jason Philyaw.