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Speech by SEC Chairman: Remarks at the Meeting of the Investor Advisory Committee

Chairman Mary L. Schapiro

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

June 12, 2012

Good morning and welcome to the inaugural meeting of the SEC's new Investor Advisory Committee. As you know, and as you will hear from our Commissioners and staff throughout the day, the SEC's work is infused with a focus on the needs of investors.

Frankly, we come to work each day in order to make our capital markets function better for investors. We seek to improve disclosure; establish investor-oriented conduct standards; and, when necessary, bring enforcement actions against those who abuse our markets for personal gain.

We take our investor protection mission very seriously. Investor protection is not a mere catchphrase; instead it is the underpinning of our purpose and culture at the SEC.

That is why I am so pleased that investors will have a permanent and formalized voice here at the Commission through our new Investor Advisory Committee. As members of this Committee, you have made a commitment to ensuring that the voice of the investor remains front and center at the SEC.

As a body, you will have an impact on our thinking, the focus of our work, and the ultimate decisions we make on behalf of investors. I sincerely thank you for your willingness to take on such a critical role, and I look forward to working with you.

As individual Committee members, you come from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives. Some of you have a retail investor viewpoint; others are focused on investing by institutions. Some of you participate heavily in the capital markets every day; others focus on educating investors and influencing policymakers to assure fair, orderly and investor-focused markets.

Whatever your individual background or experiences, what binds you as members of this Committee is a united goal to bring the investor perspective to the work of the Commission.

As provided by the Dodd-Frank Act, which established this Committee, the purpose of the Committee is to advise and consult with the Commission on

  • Regulatory priorities;
  • Issues relating to the regulation of securities products, trading strategies, fee structures and the effectiveness of disclosure;
  • Initiatives to protect investor interest; and
  • Initiatives to promote investor confidence and integrity of the securities markets.

I very much welcome your input on these important topics. And I fully expect that the Committee and the Commission will have a very collaborative and constructive relationship, given our commonality of purpose and attention — the needs of investors.

In you, the SEC's Investor Advisory Committee, investors have a new and very powerful voice. And your work as a Committee will be supplemented by the addition of the SEC's new Office of the Investor Advocate, which also was established by the Dodd-Frank Act. We are in the process of receiving applications for the new Investor Advocate, who will lead that office and by statute work with you as a member of this Committee.

Once again, I value your perspective, and I wholeheartedly thank you for your service to America's investors.

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