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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Levitt To Conduct Final Investors Town Meeting in Philadelphia, January 16, 2001

Contact: John J. Nester
(202) 942-7083


Washington, D.C., January 4, 2001 – Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt will deliver a major address on individual investor rights and responsibilities when he conducts his final Investors Town Meeting on January 16, 2001 at 7:00 p.m. EST in Philadelphia, PA.

The town meeting will take place at the Arch Street Meeting House in the heart of Philadelphia's historic district, and is free and open to the public. The 200-year-old Meeting House, located at 320 Arch Street, provides an appropriate backdrop for Levitt's speech because of its location near Independence Hall and other cherished symbols of individual empowerment.

Since taking office in the summer of 1993, the ranks of American investors have swelled to include nearly half of U.S. households. In that time, Levitt has conducted 41 town meetings in cities across the country to help Americans of every age and income learn how to invest wisely and avoid financial fraud. But he considers his upcoming meeting the most important.

"We have witnessed one of the most powerful and striking developments in the history of our capital markets – the rise of the individual investor," Levitt said. "I will remind individual investors that they are entitled to fundamental rights of fairness in our markets, and like those set forth by America's founding fathers, these rights are enduring."

Investor protection has been Levitt's top priority at the SEC, where he has championed numerous initiatives to educate and empower individual investors. In addition to creating the SEC's Office of Investor Education and Assistance, other achievements have included reforming financial accounting and requiring that companies disclose important information to all investors at the same time.

Levitt, who is the longest-serving Chairman in SEC history, last month announced his intention to leave the agency in February.

Admission is free, but reservations are recommended because seating is limited. To reserve a seat, call (877) 404-3222 or send an e-mail to rsvp@sec.gov. Auxiliary aids to attend the town meeting, such as a sign language interpreter, should be requested at the time of reservation.