Georgia State Law to Host Investor Town Hall With Five SEC Commissioners

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Atlanta Regional Office will host an Atlanta Investor Town Hall from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 13, at Georgia State University College of Law, 85 Park Place NE.

All five commissioners are participating and will explain SEC initiatives aimed at helping investors and share tips on how to protect investments. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear information directly from SEC leaders and ask questions.

“We are honored the SEC is holding the event at Georgia State Law. With most Americans responsible for their own retirement, this type of outreach and education is important,” said Nicole G. Iannarone, assistant clinical professor and director of the Georgia State Law Investor Advocacy Clinic (IAC). “Investors owe it to our future selves to learn as much as we can about our options and protect ourselves from risks.”

Richard Best, director, Atlanta Regional Office, and Wendy F. Hensel, Georgia State Law dean and professor of law, will deliver opening remarks. SEC Chair Jay Clayton and Commissioners Kara SteinMichael PiwowarRobert Jackson and Hester Peirce will then lead the town hall, covering topics including:

  • Choosing a financial professional
  • Investing in mutual funds and ETFs
  • Finding information about companies you invest in
  • How FinTech is changing your options
  • Protecting your Information in the digital age

Following the main session, the commissioners will hold break-out sessions on investing in small companies, saving throughout a career, evaluating mutual funds and ETFs, Bitcoins and ICOs and fraud prevention.

“This is a historic event with all of the SEC commissioners meeting with investors outside of Washington, D.C.  We hope that Georgia investors – whether just beginning to invest or already in retirement – attend to have their questions answered and equip themselves with tools to protect their hard-earned nest eggs,” Iannarone said.

A Collaborative Partnership

When the SEC developed an innovative plan to reach investors in Atlanta, Georgia State Law was a fitting partner for a number of reasons.

The IAC represents investors who lost money from broker misconduct but cannot afford or find legal representation because their claim is too small. Last October, Iannarone and Qudsia Shafiq (J.D. ’18) testified before the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee on the role securities arbitration clinics play in investor protection. The committee recently issued a recommendation that funding be identified for securities arbitration clinics similar to the Investor Advocacy Clinic.

In addition to clients the IAC represents in securities arbitration, several Georgia State Law faculty are key contributors to helping educate and protect investors. Associate professor of law Anne Tucker has written several articles on 401ks, mutual funds and fees and disclosures. Associate professor of law Robert Weber teaches courses in corporations, securities regulation and corporate finance and provides an experiential learning opportunity that bridges academia to serve regular investors.

“It is a natural fit for Georgia State Law to host this program, and we look forward to working with the commissioners to help educate and protect investors,” Iannarone said.