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Remarks at Meeting of the SEC Investor Advisory Committee

May 4, 2020

Thank you Anne [Sheehan] and the rest of the committee for holding this meeting today.  Now that we are roughly halfway through earnings season, I am eager to hear this committee’s reactions to public company disclosures concerning the impact of COVID-19. 

Our principles-based disclosure framework is tailor-made for a moment like this.  The beauty of our framework is that in the face of drastic and sudden changes brought on by the pandemic, management is afforded the flexibility to draft its disclosure to provide the material information about how COVID-19 is affecting its specific financial condition. 

I know that our Division of Corporation Finance Director Bill Hinman and his team are working hard to monitor and assess the earnings calls and quarterly reports across all industry groups.  I am confident that those insights, as well as this committee’s observations today, will prove invaluable to the Commission as we evaluate the extent to which issuers are providing the information necessary to make informed investment decisions.

I also look forward to the hearing your observations on shareholder engagement at the virtual shareholder meetings that have been held since the pandemic began.  Since state law governs much of this engagement, I hope that feedback and discussions will be focused on the touchpoints with the federal securities laws.  Thank you. 

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