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Statement at Open Meeting on Publication of Procedures for Nominating Candidates for Appointment to the Investor Advisory Committee

Aug. 5, 2020

I support publishing on our website the procedures governing the nomination of candidates for appointment to the Investor Advisory Committee (IAC) and the functional categories for all of our advisory committees. This item is the type of organizational matter that our agency engages in regularly, so I will keep my remarks brief.

The IAC, a creation of Dodd-Frank, has been in existence for eight years. Since 2012, the IAC has held numerous informative meetings and submitted approximately thirty recommendations for the Commission’s consideration. These recommendations have been thought provoking and helpful on a whole range of issues. Indeed, just a few minutes ago, the Commission proposed amendments that would modernize the disclosure framework for open-end investment companies, which drew on an IAC recommendation. I do not always agree with the policy recommendations submitted by the IAC, a fact that does not distinguish the IAC from our other advisory committees.

One thing that does distinguish the IAC is the way in which its members historically were selected. In its inaugural years, the IAC was filled through selections by individual Commissioners. Other advisory committees, by contrast, are populated by members nominated, in the first instance, by our staff. The latter model has approved more effective in ensuring that we have the mix of expertise we need. The procedures we are considering for publication today provide structure, transparency, and intra-agency participation in the nomination process of the IAC, an advisory committee whose work likewise cuts across the agency. Specifically, the procedures invite public candidate submissions, identify functional categories to ensure that a diversity of experiences and perspectives are brought to the IAC, and establish a nominating committee composed of staff members from across the agency to make nominee recommendations.

We have observed that similar staff-led and category-oriented processes have worked well for other advisory committees. I am pleased that we are drawing on this experience and taking this same approach with respect to this important committee as well. Because so many vacancies opened on the Committee this year, it was a perfect time to review our nomination process and make this change. Not only do we know that similar procedures work well for other committees, but we already have gotten a foretaste of how this process will work within the IAC context—the new IAC members who participated in the most recent IAC meeting were appointed under these procedures.[1]

Before I became a Commissioner, I had the opportunity to serve briefly on the IAC. My fellow committee members, some of whom recently rotated off the Committee, worked extremely hard. Current and past members have poured countless hours into preparing for meetings, conducting subcommittee meetings, researching, debating important issues, and drafting recommendations. The publication of formal procedures and functional categories will recognize the value of the committee they worked so tirelessly to build. Today’s procedures will enhance our ability to find high-quality committee members drawn from a broader pool of potential candidates than ever before. In that vein, if you or someone you know would fit one of our functional categories and would be interested in serving, please email the staff at IAC-Candidates@sec.gov. Thank you to all the staff who have worked on today’s procedures and who will work on identifying good candidates to fill these important spots.


[1] See May 21, 2020 Meeting of the Investor Advisory Committee, available at https://www.sec.gov/video/webcast-archive-player.shtml?document_id=iac052120.

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