Chair White delivered opening remarks at today’s Practising Law Institute SEC Speaks program. During Chair White’s remarks, she commented on the Commission’s rulemakings in 2015 and provided some insight on the Commission’s priorities for 2016. She noted that the Commission is interested in obtaining data from the Tick Size Pilot for smaller companies, which will commence in the fall. Chair White also noted that the staff’s review of disclosure effectiveness will continue in 2016. She alluded to other concept releases or requests for comment on particular aspects of Regulation S-K and on the industry guides. She also noted that the Commission will move forward to implement the FAST Act mandate of simplifying and modernizing disclosure requirements for public companies. Chair White noted that the Commission aims to finalize the amendments to Rule 147 and Rule 504. The text of her comments are available here: https://www.sec.gov/news/speech/white-speech-beyond-disclosure-at-the-sec-in-2016-021916.html.
Commissioner Stein also delivered prepared remarks at the conference, which focused principally on ETFs and complex exchange-traded products. Commissioner Stein also raised interesting considerations regarding the increased reliance on private placements and other exempt offerings. She observed that “Studies have shown that a sizable amount of capital is now raised in the private markets. In fact, amounts raised through unregistered offerings have outpaced the level of capital raising via registered offerings in recent years. More than $2 trillion, in fact, was raised privately in 2014. Regulation D offerings accounted for more than $1.3 trillion of this amount. In comparison, registered offerings amounted to approximately $1.35 trillion in 2014.” She also commented on the unicorn phenomenon and the need for some level of transparency and accountability in private markets. The full text of the remarks is available here: https://www.sec.gov/news/speech/stein-sec-speaks-2016.html.