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Opening Remarks at the April 2017 Meeting of the Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee

Acting Chairman Michael S. Piwowar

April 5, 2017

On behalf the Commission, I would like to welcome you to the first meeting of the Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee (“EMSAC”) in 2017.  Let me also extend thanks to the EMSAC members for your continued service and to the distinguished panelists who have joined us today.

At the first EMSAC meeting in May of 2015, I challenged the Committee to let your collective experience guide your work,[1] and you have done just that.  I commend you for continuing to provide your expert perspective on the structure and operation of the U.S. equity markets.  In so doing, EMSAC has contributed a great deal to my own thinking.  For example, your advocacy of a pilot to test how various levels of access fee caps under Rule 610 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) affect equities trading has helped inform Commission action.[2]  I recently asked the Commission staff to develop an SEC rulemaking that identifies specific parameters of an access fee pilot.  I look forward to being able to vote on such a proposal in the near future.[3]

Today, the Committee will take up two issues.  First, the Regulation NMS subcommittee will revisit Regulation NMS Rule 611, the Order Protection Rule, which you will recall was addressed at EMSAC’s inaugural meeting.[4]  Also, the Trading Venues Regulation subcommittee will deliver a presentation on a new topic, regulatory centralization and the liability of self-regulatory organizations (“SROs”).  Undoubtedly, each subcommittee’s presentation and preliminary recommendations will stimulate thoughtful discussion.

Before I turn this meeting over to Heather Seidel, Acting Director of the Division of Trading and Markets, I would like to make note of another body whose efforts in parallel with the EMSAC will help lay the groundwork for future enhancements of our equity market structure.  I recently spoke to a group of economists, legal scholars, and industry practitioners at Columbia Law School’s Program in the Law and Economics of Capital Markets.  They are commencing a new Special Study of the Securities Markets[5] to be modeled on the much lauded Special Study of Securities Markets in 1963.[6]  I believe that this project, which has a targeted completion date of 2020, will complement the excellent work EMSAC has accomplished and will continue to undertake on behalf of our country and our capital markets.

Thank you.

 

[1] Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar, “Remarks at the Inaugural SEC Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee Meeting (May 13, 2015), https://www.sec.gov/news/statement/remarks-inaugural-sec-equity-market-structure-advisory-committee.html.

[2] U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee, “Recommendation for an Access Fee Pilot” (July 8, 2016), https://www.sec.gov/spotlight/emsac/recommendation-access-fee-pilot.pdf.

[3] Acting Chairman Michael S. Piwowar, “New Special Study of the Securities Markets: Keynote Address” (March 23, 2017), https://www.sec.gov/news/speech/piwowar-keynote-columbia-university-032317.

[4] See Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee, Transcript of Meeting on May 13, 2015, https://www.sec.gov/spotlight/emsac/emsac-051315-transcript.txt.

[5] See Piwowar, supra note 3.

[6] Report of the Special Study of Securities Markets of the Securities and Exchange Commission, April 3, 1963, at xiv, http://www.sechistorical.org/museum/papers/1960/page-2.php.