The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced the selection of Martha Legg Miller as the very first “Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation.” The position was created by legislation signed into law during the final days of the Obama Administration in a legislative push to give small business a stronger voice when it comes to securities law.
The creation of the new position was first championed on the pages of Crowdfund Insider.
A description of the responsibilities of the Advocate is available here.
The Advocate will also be responsible for planning, organizing, and executing the annual Government-Business Forum on Small Business Capital Formation, an event which just took place in Columbus, Ohio. During this annual event, many good recommendations are crafted but few, if any, ever become actual policy or law.
As outlined by the law, the Advocate is required by statute to report their findings to Congress each year.
The new office will is expected to provide assistance to small businesses, conduct outreach to better understand the obstacles small businesses face when attempting to access the capital markets. Miller will also be making recommendations to the Commision.
Miller is currently a partner at the Birmingham, Alabama, firm Balch & Bingham LLP. She will assume her new role in January 2019. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Cognitive Neuroscience and Communication Studies from Vanderbilt University and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.
Miller is said to also serve as an adviser for several organizations dedicated to helping start-ups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses, including several focused on women- and minority-owned companies and their investors.
Miller issued a statement on the announcement:
“Having spent my career working closely with a variety of businesses and their investors, I have a deep appreciation for the needs they face at different phases of their growth. I am truly honored to have the opportunity to serve as the first Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation, where I will work alongside the many talented professionals at the SEC to encourage capital access for privately-held and smaller public companies. I look forward to the work ahead crafting solutions that meet the needs of businesses across the country.”
The entire Commission joined in welcoming Miller. Chairman Jay Clayton and Commissioners Kara Stein, Robert Jackson, Hester Peirce, and Elad Roisman stated:
“We are excited for Martha to take on this new and important role. Martha’s extensive experience working with a diverse set of companies, entrepreneurs and investors – including in communities away from the coasts – will allow her to serve as a direct link to, and advocate for, the many small businesses around the country that drive our local and national economies for the benefit of Main Street investors.”