Norm Champ made his first public speech as the Director of the SEC Division of Investment Management on November 1st. Speaking at the ALI CLE 2012 Conference on Life Insurance Company Products, Mr. Champ laid out several of the Division’s latest initiatives and priorities which include:
- Encouraging Better Disclosure – Mr. Champ stressed the importance of effective communication with investors, noting that studies consistently show that American investors lack basic financial literacy. He highlighted the mutual fund summary prospectus as a well-organized, clear, concise and user-friendly document that could be used as a model for how to provide better disclosure for investors in other areas.
- Investor Advisory Committee – The new Investor Advisory Committee, established by the Dodd-Frank Act, is now up and running. The intent of the Committee is to create a better line of communication between investor representatives and the SEC. Its membership includes a representative of state securities commissions, a representative of the interests of senior citizens, and members who represent the interests of both individual and institutional investors.
- Division Priorities – Division staff are taking a fresh look at policy initiatives and prioritizing the matters based on the “significance of the issues to be addressed and the potential impact of the initiatives.” Mr. Champ characterized this as a “systematic cost-benefit analysis to the prioritization of our work.”
- Adding Business Expertise to the Division – The Division is actively looking for business expertise in the areas of ETFs, derivatives and financial analysis. Mr. Champ has also established a new group focusing on risk and examinations and would like to add expertise on the business side of the insurance industry (resources permitting).