SEC Describes Investment Professional Regulation Study
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Research to Identify Investor Perspectives on Their Relationships with Financial Service Providers
Washington, D.C., June 30, 2006 The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission published a draft contract proposal today in preparation for a major study comparing how the different regulatory systems that apply to broker-dealers and investment advisers affect individual investors.
“Our goal is to improve investor protection by updating our regulation to deal with the realities of today’s marketplace,” Chairman Christopher Cox said. “We will develop the best available information, from inside and outside of the Commission, to inform this important process. We welcome public input on the proposal.”
The document released today, technically a “Request for Information,” is the latest in a series of steps toward a major study of investor protection for financial service customers. Broker-dealers are regulated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Investment advisers are regulated under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The study will examine how the disparate regimes affect investors.
The study was first suggested in connection with a rule adopted by the Commission in April 2005. That rule allowed broker-dealers to offer fee-based brokerage accounts without being required to comply with the Advisers Act.
Today’s RFI provides that a contractor conducting the study would have a proven track record of producing high quality, unbiased, qualitative and quantitative research and be knowledgeable about the subject matter of the study. It contemplates that the contractor would consult with SEC staff with respect to collecting, categorizing, and analyzing empirical data from a wide variety of sources. It further contemplates that the information studied would include marketing, sales, and delivery data about financial products, accounts, programs and services offered to individual investors. Under the RFI, the contractor would summarize and evaluate the data for the use of the Commission in assessing the current legal and regulatory environment.
The Commission released the RFI in draft form to solicit informal expressions of interest and comments from those who might seek to perform the work and from parties interested in the eventual results study.
The full text can be accessed on the Commission’s website at http://www.sec.gov/rules/other/2006/34-54077.pdf. It is also posted at http://www.fedbizopps.gov, a website concerning federal government procurement opportunities.
The SEC’s rule providing for the study appears on the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov/rules/final/34-51523.pdf.
Expressions of interest and comments on the draft solicitation are due by July 19, 2006, in writing to Sandy Wright, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Procurement and Contracts Branch, 6432 General Green Way, Mail Stop 0-20, Alexandria, VA 22312, (202) 551-7312, firstname.lastname@example.org.