New Panel Will Recommend Regulations to Protect Investors

Two former chairs of the Securities and Exchange Commission will lead an independent panel to recommend ways to improve the regulation of the U.S. financial markets.

William Donaldson and Arthur Levitt Jr. will chair the Investors’ Working Group (IWG), a “diverse, non-partisan panel of experts,’ co-sponsored by the Council of Institutional Investors and the CFA Institute Centre for Financial Market Integrity, according to a press release. It will issue an initial report and recommendations by late spring.

The release said “the panel will ensure that investor views are heard as policymakers and financial market participants debate how to modernize the U.S. system of financial regulation.’ CFA Institute and the Council of Institutional Investors asserted that the ongoing national discussion about regulatory reform has largely ignored investor considerations, focusing instead on containing costs for issuers and dealers in the U.S. capital markets.

“This group has been established to work with policymakers in efforts to restore public confidence by seeing to it that essential regulatory changes will include consideration of the primacy of investor interest,’ said Levitt, who chaired the SEC from 1993 to 2001, in the release. “Our group will receive input from the broadest possible base in order to assure investors that transparency and comprehensible investor protections are the metrics by which we judge our markets. Our approach will be inclusive, balanced and pragmatic.’

Members of the Investors’ Working Group include the following:

  • William Donaldson, chair, Donaldson Enterprises
  • Arthur Levitt, Jr., senior adviser, The Carlyle Group
  • Mark Anson, CFA, president and executive director of Investment Services, Nuveen Investments
  • Brooksley Born, retired partner, Arnold & Porter and former chair, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  • Joe Dear, executive director, Washington State Investment Board and chair, Council of Institutional Investors
  • David Fisher, chair, The Capital Group International
  • Peter R. Fisher, managing director and co-head of Fixed Income, BlackRock
  • Harvey J. Goldschmid, Dwight professor of law, Columbia Law School and former commissioner, SEC
  • Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chair, GMO, LLC
  • William R. Hambrecht, founder, chair, and CEO, WR Hambrecht + Company
  • John D. Markese, president, American Association of Individual Investors
  • Bill Miller, chair and chief investment officer, Legg Mason Capital Management, Inc.
  • Ira Millstein, senior partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and senior associate dean for Corporate Governance, Yale School of Management
  • Nell Minow, editor and co-founder, The Corporate Library
  • Peter Montagnon, chair, International Corporate Governance Network and director of Investment Affairs, Association of British Insurers
  • Jane Bryant Quinn, director and personal finance columnist, Bloomberg LP and contributing editor, Newsweek
  • Barbara Roper, director of Investor Protection, Consumer Federation of America
  • Kurt Schacht, managing director, CFA Institute Centre for Financial Market Integrity
  • Ellen Seidman, senior fellow, New America Foundation and executive vice president, ShoreBank Corporation
  • David F. Swensen, chief investment officer, Yale University

“Too often, the views of investors get short shrift in discussions about how to modernize our financial regulatory system,’ said Donaldson, who led the SEC from 2003 to 2005. “The Investors’ Working Group will serve as a critical sounding board for proposals to improve the framework for financial regulation in the wake of the crippling global credit crisis.’