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Opening Remarks at the September 16, 2020 Meeting of the Asset Management Advisory Committee

Sept. 16, 2020

Welcome everyone to today’s Meeting of the Commission’s Asset Management Advisory Committee, or AMAC,[1] including everyone joining us virtually or listening to the meeting through the Commission’s website. I am glad that the important work of both the Committee and, more broadly, the Commission can continue uninterrupted as we remain in our current telework posture.

I’m pleased to be joined today by several of my fellow commissioners. First, I’d like to welcome Commissioner Crenshaw, who is attending her first AMAC meeting as commissioner. Many of you likely worked with Commissioner Crenshaw during her career here at the SEC. Commissioners Peirce and Roisman are joining today, as well.

Before I discuss today’s agenda, a number of “Thank Yous” for everyone who has worked to make today’s meeting productive and insightful. Thank you to the members of the Committee, including Ed for your continued leadership. Thank you also to the Committee members serving as today’s panel moderators: Erik Sirri and Gilbert Garcia. Thank you to the Commission staff who have helped with today’s meeting, including Director Dalia Blass and her staff, and to all the staff in our Office of Minority and Women Inclusion, including Robert Marchman, our Senior Advisor for Diversity and Inclusion. Thanks as always to the staff in the Office of Information Technology and the Office of the Secretary for your assistance. And thank you especially to the panelists and others presenting during today’s meeting for your time and your willingness to share your insights with the Committee and with the Commission.

Today’s agenda is full and reflects both the breadth of the Asset Management Advisory Committee’s work and the depth of analysis that your structure allows. To that end, I look forward to presentations from AMAC’s two subcommittees: the ESG Subcommittee and the Private Investments Subcommittee. I understand that both subcommittees continue to make progress on their respective work streams and will be able to provide updates to help inform the AMAC. In addition, I welcome today’s discussion on the impact of COVID-19 within the asset management industry, which is a follow-up to the conversation the Committee began in May. Today’s discussion should provide additional insight into these impacts, with a particular focus on exchange-traded products and the industry’s operations. The Commission and staff continue to monitor the effects of COVID-19 on our markets, including through our Market Monitoring Group and our ongoing outreach to market participants, and I appreciate the opportunity for additional feedback that this discussion will provide.

Turning to today’s panels, I look forward to the panelists’ presentations regarding private investment returns. I’ve spoken on numerous occasions about my interest in promoting access and choice for Main Street investors, including ways we might increase their access to private markets while we ensure appropriate investor protections. As part of this, we should examine whether appropriately-structured funds can facilitate greater Main Street investor access to private investments, particularly as a component of an investment portfolio that is analogous to the portfolio of a well-managed pension fund. We should make sure to focus on fees and investor protections – as I have said previously, one of the greatest things about our public markets is that they allow our Main Street investors to invest side-by-side with sophisticated institutional investors in the same companies. I believe a similar result can be achieved through appropriately-structured funds. The input from today’s panelists will no doubt provide useful information for our efforts.

I also welcome your continued discussions on improving diversity and inclusion in the asset management industry. The discussions held at your July meeting on this topic provided a stark, honest and very helpful analysis of the current state of diversity and inclusion in the asset management industry, including opportunities for diverse asset managers. That meeting clarified further that there is significant support for our shared goal of expanding those opportunities and sustained interest in helping us determine how best we can achieve it. I am hopeful that today’s panelists will help to further consideration of this issue, with an eye toward some of the best practices observed by consultants and professionally-managed pension funds.

Thank you again to all of today’s participants and attendees. The range of experience and perspectives that the Commission receives from the AMAC and our other advisory committees truly improves our regulatory decisions and enables us to benefit the investors and markets that we serve. Thank you, Ed.

[1] My remarks are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission or my fellow Commissioners.

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