Office of the Investor Advocate
About the Office
The Office of the Investor Advocate was established by Section 915 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, as codified in Section 4(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The head of the Office of the Investor Advocate is appointed by the Chairman in consultation with the Commission and reports directly to the Chairman. The mission of the Office is to promote the interests of investors by performing the following required tasks:
- Analyzing the potential impact on investors of regulations and rules that are proposed by the Commission and any self-regulatory organization (SRO);
- Identifying areas in which investors would benefit from changes in regulations or SRO rules;
- Assisting retail investors in resolving significant problems they have with the Commission or SROs;
- Identifying problems that investors have with financial service providers and investment products;
- Proposing to the Commission changes in regulations or orders of the Commission that may be appropriate to mitigate problems identified and to promote the interests of investors; and
- Proposing to Congress any legislative, administrative, or personnel changes that may be appropriate to mitigate problems identified and to promote the interests of investors.
Section 919D of the Dodd-Frank Act requires the Investor Advocate to appoint an Ombudsman who will act as a liaison in resolving problems that retail investors may have with the Commission or an SRO. The Ombudsman will review and establish policies and procedures to encourage persons to present questions to the Investor Advocate regarding compliance with the securities laws, and will establish safeguards to maintain the confidentiality of such communications.
The Investor Advocate must report to Congress by June 30 of each year on the objectives of the Office for the following fiscal year. The Investor Advocate must also report to Congress by December 31 of each year on the activities of the Investor Advocate in the preceding fiscal year, the most serious problems encountered by investors during the reporting period and the actions taken by the Commission and SROs to resolve the problems, and any recommendations for administrative and legislative action. The Ombudsman must submit a semi-annual report to the Investor Advocate for inclusion in the reports to Congress. The reports from the Investor Advocate must be submitted to Congress without any prior review or comment from any officer or employee of the Commission outside of the Office of the Investor Advocate.
Investor Advisory Committee
Section 911 of the Dodd-Frank Act, as codified in Section 39 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, establishes the Investor Advisory Committee and includes the Investor Advocate as a member of the Committee. The Office of the Investor Advocate provides staff support to the Committee.
Inaugural Report to Congress
The Office of the Investor Advocate issued its first Report on Objectives on June 30, 2014.
The Case for User Fees
Speech by Rick Fleming before the 38th Annual Southwest Securities on August 19, 2014.
Video: Rick Fleming on His Role as Investor Advocate
Watch SEC Investor Advocate Rick Fleming describing his plans at the April 10 meeting of the Investor Advisory Committee (IAC). Fleming is a member of the IAC.
U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
Office of the Investor Advocate
100 F Street, NE
Washington, DC 20549
Whom should I contact about my question or concern?
That depends. The Office of the Investor Advocate handles questions and concerns on certain subjects, while other issues are best handled by other SEC offices. Our FAQ will help guide you to the right place.
Elsewhere on SEC.gov
- Investor Advisory Committee
- Comments on the creation of the Office of the Investor Advocate
- Office of Investor Education and Advocacy