Remarks at SRO Outreach Conference

Speech

Remarks at SRO Outreach Conference

 

Commissioner Elisse B. Walter

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Washington, D.C.

May 13, 2013

Good morning everyone and welcome. A special welcome to the clearing agencies, for whom this is your first SRO Outreach Conference, and to the newest exchange — MIAX.

Today’s audience includes 17 exchanges, one securities association, the MSRB, and six clearing agencies. We are all gathered here to take advantage of a unique opportunity for SRO staff to join staff from OCIE and TM in candid discussions of hot-button topics, in a setting where everyone can be part of the conversation. Almost as important: we will have the opportunity to actually get to know the voices we hear on conference calls or the names at the bottom of an e-mail, and develop relationships that will make it easier to communicate and collaborate with one another down the road.

Today we come together in our fundamental roles as co-regulators. Yes, SROs that compete with you are in this room. (And yes, staff from your primary federal regulator is here, too.) But, I urge you to put aside any hesitation and come together today as colleagues, not competitors.

As compatriots in regulation, if you will, we share important statutory responsibilities and a mission to promote fair and orderly markets, protect investors and the public interest, eliminate unfair discrimination between market participants, and further the purposes of the Exchange Act.

Our securities markets are a valuable national asset, and we — collectively — are its guardians. Its success is tied to the successful performance of our duties — a duty to the public that I may argue ought to outweigh business interests.

At the SEC, on the door to the Chair’s office, there’s a sign I used to read every day I went to work there. It read: “How does it help investors?” I’d like for that question to guide your actions as SROs much as it guides our every action at the SEC.

Let’s come together today and speak directly in an environment of support and collaboration. Tell us what is on your mind. Also listen and learn from each other. And, throughout today, please consider the gravity of your central regulatory mission, and the importance of working together in the public interest.

Thank you all for coming today and for your contribution to an informative, enjoyable and successful conference.