Mary Jo White: Comments on Crowdfunding Rule-Making

Mary Jo WhiteLast week the SEC Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies convened to take up several important issues that impact SMEs and economic growth.  SEC Chair Mary Jo White has made it a habit of opening this meeting – indicative of the import she has assigned to the group.

White addressed several important issues, including the forthcoming rules on Title III retail crowdfunding, something Crowdfund Insider wrote about a day later. We expect the Commission to convene soon to reveal final regulations. She also commented on improving Securities Act Rule 147 – something that involves most intrastate crowdfunding rules.

The draft recommendations from ACSEC may be found here.  Chair White’s prepared comments are republished below.

Chair Mary Jo White

 

Sept. 23, 2015

Good morning.  Thank you very much, Steve and Chris, and thank you all for being here, either in person or by webcast.  I will be very brief in my remarks.

As you know, the term of this Committee expires tomorrow, September 24th.  The advice and expertise the Committee has provided to the Commission on a variety of issues over the last four years has been incredibly helpful to us.  And, as today’s agenda reflects, you are continuing those contributions.  Your contributions have shown the importance of this Committee, and I am pleased to announce that the Commission is renewing its charter for another two-year term.  The Commission will be selecting members and it is my hope that many of you will continue your service.  I look forward to our continuing dialogue and being the beneficiary of your insight and suggestions.

I understand that the Committee will be discussing several written recommendations today.  We are very interested in all of them.  Relevant to those topics, as I mentioned at your June meeting, the staff in the Division of Corporation Finance is actively considering ways to improve Securities Act Rule 147, a safe harbor that issuers generally rely on for intrastate crowdfunding offerings.  We very much look forward to having your input on aspects of that rule that could be modernized.  On the subject of the JOBS Act crowdfunding rulemaking, the staff has been working hard on final rule recommendations for the Commission, and I anticipate that you will see something on that front from us in the very near-term.

The staff in the Division of Corporation Finance also continues to be hard at work on our initiative to enhance the effectiveness of the public company disclosure regime for investors and companies.  The staff’s review is focused initially on the business and financial disclosures required in companies’ periodic reports, and I expect that the Commission will publish the first product from this initiative very soon.  We have benefited already from your input in this area, and I look forward to your written recommendations on this issue as well.

Let me conclude by reiterating my sincere appreciation for your service.  You have had a productive term and we know that each of you has a busy schedule and multiple demands on your time.  We are very grateful for your commitment to helping the Commission advance its mission for the benefit of small companies and their investors.  I also want to thank my friend and colleague, Commissioner Dan Gallagher, who will be leaving the Commission on October 2nd.  Dan has rendered extraordinary service to the agency and our mission, and has been a real champion for the interests of small businesses.  We will all miss him and his many contributions.

Thank you.

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