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Opening Remarks Before the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies

Chairman Jay Clayton

May 10, 2017

Good morning everyone, and thank you, Steve [Graham] and Sara [Hanks]. I would like to extend a warm welcome to Joe [Shepard], and thank you to Shelley [Parratt]. I am grateful to you and the other members of this important committee for the opportunity to speak to you today.  

I am pleased that my first public remarks as Chairman could be to this very important group.  As these are my first public remarks, I would be remiss if I did not start with a few thank-yous:

First, to President Trump for having the confidence in me to nominate me for this position.

Second, to all those I met during the confirmation process.  I know that I am better prepared for this important role as a result of that process.

Third, to the dedicated women and men of the SEC who have made me feel at home. Thank you and I am very much looking forward to working with each of you.   

Facilitating capital formation is one of the central tenets of the SEC’s mission and it is a focus that this committee and I share.  One of my priorities is for the Commission to focus on facilitating capital-raising opportunities for all companies, including, and importantly, small- and medium-sized businesses.  Doing so will not only help those companies, but it also will provide expanded opportunities for investors, help our economy grow, facilitate innovation, and further job creation. 

As I mentioned during my confirmation hearing, I understand the many challenges facing small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as the importance of those businesses to our local economies and, collectively, our national economy.  I appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge and insights about smaller and emerging companies and the challenges they face.

This committee has already made important recommendations that have facilitated the ability of small and emerging companies to raise capital, and for investors of all types to participate and benefit from their growth.  The topics on your agenda today – including finders, the underwriting of small offerings and the tick size pilot, among others – represent discussions that we should be having and that I expect will provide a basis for action.  I look forward to your thoughts and any recommendations that stem from your deliberations.

Finally, this is Public Service Recognition Week, and I want to close my remarks with a few words from our town hall yesterday.  This agency and this committee are all about the people.  There are no widgets here at the SEC.  It’s about smart, caring people analyzing and implementing the law in an environment that is ever-changing, with the lauded goal of increasing the opportunities for all to participate in America’s growth.  With your hard work, you are ably assisting that effort. Thank you.