WASHINGTON, D.C. - December 1, 2003 - The board of directors of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), which maintains a special reserve fund to help investors at bankrupt brokerage firms, announced today that 28-year veteran Stephen P. Harbeck is the new president and CEO of the congressionally chartered organization.

Harbeck joined the legal staff of SIPC in 1975 and was promoted to general counsel in 1995. He now is stepping into the position formerly held by Michael Don, who served as SIPC president from 1995-2003 and retired in November of this year.

SIPC Board Chairman William R. Timken, Jr., who also serves as chairman of the board of The Timken Company, said: "Steve Harbeck will be a great leader as SIPC responds to the substantial changes in the U.S. capital markets. The Board expects him to further enhance SIPC's working relationship with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Congress, the self-regulatory organizations (SROs) and the state regulatory agencies. He has been directly responsible for ensuring that American investors understand the role of SIPC, and will oversee our expanded efforts in this vital area. SIPC will continue to contribute to the process of rebuilding equity investor confidence."

"I am honored by the Board's decision and I am particularly mindful of the Board's mandate to me that SIPC further boost its investor education efforts," Harbeck said. "Time and again, SIPC has seen instances where investors have failed to notice obvious signs of trouble, leading to severe losses."

The new SIPC president and CEO added: "When SIPC was founded in 1970, Congress stated that one of the primary purposes of the legislation was to restore investor confidence in the markets. One way for SIPC to help restore damaged confidence in today's securities markets is to play a role in and help to bring about expanded industry wide investor education initiatives with the SEC, SROs and the North American Securities Administrators Association. I am committed to making that happen."

During his tenure at SIPC, Harbeck has served as adjunct professor of bankruptcy law at American University's Washington College of Law. He also has written a number of law review articles on bankruptcy. Originally from New York, Harbeck received his B.A. in economics from the College of the Holy Cross, and his J.D. from Cornell University Law School. He is a member of the New York State Bar and the District of Columbia Bar. Harbeck is admitted to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States as well as various United States Courts of Appeals.