Last week, in connection with the meeting of the SEC’s Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies, both Commissioner Aguilar and Commissioner Gallagher expressed interest in, and support for, a more thorough assessment of the utility of venture exchanges as a means of promoting capital formation. Later in the week, speaking on the West Coast at Stanford Law School, Commissioner Stein also addressed venture exchanges and indicated her support for a concept release from the SEC regarding venture exchanges. Tomorrow, the Subcommittee on Securities, Insurance and Investment of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs will conduct a hearing on “Venture Exchanges and Small-Cap Companies.” Stephen Luparello, the Director of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, is scheduled to testify. Additional information regarding the hearing and the testimony (when posted) is available here: http://www.banking.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=68652d9f-3c34-4620-a9ec-58740e3a4750.
Commissioner Stein also raised the possibility of “regional exchanges.” In her remarks, she noted that, “Some view regional exchanges as a possible way to help to increase secondary market liquidity for smaller companies.” Once upon a time, we had several regional exchanges.
This voyage back to the future might well seem more appropriate once the SEC actually completes the rulemaking required of it by the JOBS Act. In terms of facilitating liquidity, it would seem that a simpler and more immediate approach would be to address in its final Regulation A+ rules a means of consummating a Tier 2 Regulation A+ offering and effecting a concurrent listing of securities on an existing national securities exchange without the added requirement to prepare and file a Form 10.