As Prepared for Delivery
Thank you, Anne (Sheehan), and good afternoon everyone.
I would like to thank the Committee for convening this meeting to discuss the Commission's work to enhance retail investor protection and retail investor decision making by bringing the legal requirements and mandated disclosures of financial professionals in line with retail investor expectations — specifically, our proposed Regulation Best Interest and our proposed Customer Relationship Summary or CRS.
Since the Committee last addressed this topic at the June 2018 meeting, we have received well over 6,000 comment letters (approximately 3,000 of which are unique) on our proposed rulemaking package. In addition, we have been seeking input from retail investors through a Commission website, www.sec.gov/tell-us, where investors can view examples of the proposed Customer Relationship Summary and submit feedback on key questions from the proposal. We have hosted a series of open-forum roundtables across the country, where Main Street investors have had the opportunity to speak directly with me, my fellow Commissioners and senior staff about the proposed rules and a host of related matters. Finally, the Office of the Investor Advocate engaged RAND Corporation to perform investor testing of the proposed Customer Relationship Summary. That testing has now been completed, and the results will be made available in the comment file within the next few days.
Our staff has been carefully reviewing all of this information and working diligently to develop a recommendation for the final rules. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff for their tremendous work on this important rulemaking. I am very pleased with the progress we have made in achieving the goals of our proposals to address investor confusion and to raise the standard of conduct for broker-dealers when they provide recommendations to retail investors while at the same time preserving retail investor access (in terms of choice and cost) to a variety of types of investment services and investment products.
I would also like to thank the members of the Committee for their continued engagement and thoughtful perspective on this rulemaking. Thank you all for participating today, and I look forward to a productive meeting.