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Remarks at the SEC Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee Meeting

Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar

Feb. 2, 2016

Welcome, everyone, to today’s meeting of the Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee (the “Committee”). 

I first want to express my appreciation to the members of the Committee for your level of engagement, especially within the subcommittees that have been constituted since our last meeting.  I understand the subcommittees’ efforts to identify, prioritize, and analyze issues regarding our current equity market structure are underway, and I look forward to the updates this afternoon.  I am confident your insights will continue to challenge the Commission as we consider equity market structure improvements. 

I also want to thank all the panelists, in advance, for your contributions to the discourse.  Finally, I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the Staff’s substantial efforts in connection with this event.

As with prior meetings, the topics on today’s agenda are important components of an ongoing review of equity market structure.  I am pleased that we are not shying away from these complex issues.      

The Staff’s research note regarding trading on August 24, 2015 is an excellent jumping off point for this morning’s discussions.[1]  The events of August 24 provided a test of how our markets operate in times of extreme volatility, and revealed that there is room for improvement.  The various customer issues that will be considered this afternoon – the risks of using certain order types, the potential conflicts presented by payment-for-order-flow arrangements, and the development of more meaningful execution-quality reports – also represent opportunities for refinement of our regulatory approach. 

What we hear today is inevitably going to introduce a lot of new issues and questions.  I hope this discussion will provide direction on where the Committee, and the Commission, should focus their energies. 

Thank you.

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