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Remarks at the Meeting of the SEC Investor Advisory Committee (IAC)

Sept. 21, 2022

It is a pleasure to speak at today’s Committee meeting for the first time.

The Dodd-Frank Act granted the IAC the critical responsibility of advising the Commission on a range of key issues. By statute, you have the authority to raise, discuss, and submit recommendations to the Commission, including propose legislative changes, on any topic that touches on protecting investor interests and Commission priorities.

Each committee member brings a unique expertise to these topics. I welcome your fresh ideas and specific recommendations to help us better serve the public interest, protect working families, and fulfill the SEC’s mission effectively.

Since its formation, the IAC has focused on several areas of particular relevance to investors. For instance, in 2019, the IAC urged the Commission to modernize its outdated human capital disclosure framework. Similarly, in 2016, the IAC recommended the Commission improve disclosure of mutual fund fees and other costs.

Looking to the future, I welcome your counsel on how the Commission can take a fresh and holistic view at modernizing investor disclosures. Meaningful, user-friendly, and decision-useful disclosures for investors should not be a rote exercise. Rather, to be effective, disclosures should be drafted in plain English, from an investor’s point of view, and incorporate the changing technological prism through which an investor processes information.

Accurate and relevant information improves investor choice and strengthens confidence in our markets.

I also appreciate the IAC’s attention to other critical investor protection issues, such as funds’ ESG disclosures and improved financial accounting and reporting standards.

You are guardians of the investing public and we share the common responsibility of elevating their interests above all others. Most importantly, your statutory authority to advise and consult with the Commission or propose legislative changes is clear and indisputable. It is my hope that you bear this in mind in shaping your future recommendations, particularly in the financial accounting space where it appears that the interests of investors have, in recent years, taken a back seat.

To each of the Committee members, subcommittee members, and today’s panelists, thank you for your valuable contributions and for your commitment to investor protection.

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