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Remarks at the SEC Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee Meeting

Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar

Oct. 27, 2015

Thank you, Chair White. And thank you to the members of the Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee (the “Committee”) and the panelists for joining us today. If the last meeting was any indication, the discussion will be candid, informative, and thought-provoking. I look forward to hearing each of your views and insights. But please indulge me in acknowledging one panelist in particular. Larry Harris is a mentor, friend, colleague, and co-author, and I am delighted that the Commission has invited him to participate today. Before I proceed, I also want to thank the Staff for its hard work in advance of this event.

Although the Commission may have good intentions with respect to an equity market structure review, we have been slow out of the starting blocks. The recently created “Accomplishments” webpage describes only three equity market structure achievements thus far.[1] One, we implemented the MIDAS system and launched a new website dedicated to equity market structure. Two, we proposed a rule to enhance the supervision of large proprietary trading firms. And three, we formed the Committee being convened today.

According to the webpage, the Commission is looking to the Committee to “provide a valuable mechanism for [us] to receive input and advice concerning market structure issues as [the Commission] does its comprehensive review.”[2] I hope that the Committee can take ownership of the issues and generate forward momentum for our review. As I said at the inaugural meeting, I believe we should empower the Committee to determine which topics to focus on, and how to sequence its discussions.[3] Allowing the Committee to exercise its independent judgment on which are the most pressing matters and how they are intertwined is the only path toward yielding truly pragmatic and meaningful recommendations on enhancing the equity markets.

In that regard, I pose the following questions to the Committee: What are the goals of the Committee? In the future, how will the Committee evaluate its success? Not, how will the Commission or the Staff measure effectiveness, but what are the Committee’s expectations for itself? I challenge the Committee and its subcommittees to establish concrete goals, guideposts, and measures of success for their work.

In a year’s time, I want the Committee to be able to say they accomplished something meaningful. Then, it will be incumbent upon the Commission to use the Committee’s achievements to advance truly comprehensive equity market structure reform.

Thank you.

[1] See SEC Accomplishments, April 2013 — August 2015, available at

[2] Id.

[3] See Commissioner Michael S. Piwowar, Remarks at the Inaugural SEC Equity Market Structure Advisory Committee Meeting, available at

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