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Remarks to the SEC Investor Advisory Committee

Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar

Dec. 7, 2017

Good morning and welcome to the members of the Investor Advisory Committee (the “IAC”).  I look forward to your discussions of two important topics: (i) retail investor protections and transparency in municipal and corporate bond markets this morning, and (ii) best practices for retail investor disclosures this afternoon.

Recently, the Commission bid a fond farewell to our Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies (the “ACSEC”).  Like the IAC, the ACSEC produced numerous recommendations, each of which—whether ultimately adopted or not—has informed the Commission’s analysis of important issues.  At the ACSEC’s final meeting this past September, I took the opportunity to commend its members for their service and particularly for their willingness to put aside faction and political motives in the interest of engaging in productive discussions.[1]

Today, I would like to praise and caution the IAC on the same grounds.  I have come to know and respect many of your members over my time as a Commissioner.  Agree or disagree, I have enjoyed pursuing our shared passion for protecting investors; maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets; and facilitating capital formation.

I also want to recognize the many scholars, professionals, and industry representatives who have contributed their valuable insight at the IAC’s many meetings.  Looking over the list of guest speakers on today’s agenda, I see that we have once again recruited a distinguished group to address each topic area.

That said, I must emphasize that it pains me to have to remind the IAC membership that our guests have not always been treated in the manner they deserve.  Guests of the Commission and the IAC are owed our utmost respect. Let me be clear: the IAC is not a Hyde Park soapbox for demagoguery and tub-thumping, nor is it an inquisitorial Star Chamber.  IAC guests spend hours preparing their presentations.  They travel here (on their own dime, and on their own time), take our questions, respond to our comments, and sharpen our views. They come to us in good faith.  It is only appropriate for us to engage with them in civil, respectable discussion and debate.

I hope that today’s sessions will elicit a fruitful exchange of ideas in the very best traditions of the Commission and the IAC.

Thank you.


[1] Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar, “Opening Remarks of Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar before the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies” (Sept. 13, 2017),

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