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Remarks of SEC Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar at the Signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission and NASAA

Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar

Feb. 17, 2017

Good morning, everyone.  I would like to extend a special welcome to Mike Rothman, President of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), Judy Shaw, former-President of NASAA, Joe Borg, President-Elect of NASAA, and Joey Brady, Executive Director of NASAA. 

The traditions of innovation and competition have made small businesses the cornerstone of the American dream.  And while countless entrepreneurs have an idea to create a business, many are frustrated by the difficulty of securing private funding.  Unnecessary and duplicative regulations should never stand between entrepreneurs and their dreams.

The best way to achieve this goal is by guaranteeing cooperation between state and federal securities regulators.  That’s why I’m so proud to join NASAA in signing this Memorandum of Understanding that solidifies our shared commitment to serving Main Street entrepreneurs and investors.

Specifically, this Memorandum of Understanding will allow Commission staff and NASAA to share information about their observations of the various securities offering exemptions available to companies at the state and federal level. 

Last year, the Commission created a new exemption to facilitate intrastate offerings, and amended Regulation D to facilitate the development of regional offering exemptions at the state level.  The new exemption will give companies more flexibility to engage in intrastate offerings through websites and social media without having to register their securities offerings with the federal government. 

The amendments to Regulation D may lead to states developing regional offering exemptions so companies could raise capital from investors in a specific region, rather than just in one state.  The adoption of these latest rules is a step towards making it easier for companies to access the capital they need to grow.

I’m happy to say that throughout this process, the Commission staff has worked closely with the states, and NASAA has been a tremendous partner in these efforts. We all want small businesses to succeed and we’ll continue to monitor these exemptions to make sure they work as intended.

 That’s why this Memorandum of Understanding allows Commission staff and NASAA to share information so they can more effectively monitor and evaluate the impact of these new and amended federal and state exemptions.   Together, we want to ensure that they are serving their purpose of facilitating capital formation with appropriate investor protections.

Our recent effort complements the work of the Commission to implement the JOBS Act, including expanding Regulation A offerings, finalizing an exemption to allow federal securities-based crowdfunding, and lifting the ban on general solicitation under Regulation D.  I look forward to continuing to work with NASAA and the states on ways we can better facilitate capital formation for small businesses.

Again, it’s an honor to oversee the continuance of our cooperation by signing this Memorandum of Understanding, and I look forward to finding new ways to strengthen our relationship on behalf of the entrepreneurs and investors we serve.