A. Heath Abshure, Arkansas securities commissioner, began on Tuesday a one-year term as president of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), replacing Jack Herstein, assistant director of the Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance and head of the department's Bureau of Securities.
In his inaugural address at NASAA’s annual conference, Abshure said his presidency will focus on NASAA’s response to a rapidly changing regulatory environment. "I want to focus on what we can do, and if we harmonize our efforts, what we can become," he said.
"Considering our illustrious history, our excellent track record, our universal reputation for fighting the good fight, and our physical presence throughout all of North America, we stand poised to be the most thoughtful, appropriate, and influential voice whenever changes to the system of securities regulation are being considered," Abshure said.
"Consider our ability to strike the reasonable balance between investor protection and capital formation along with our ability to speak reasonably and collectively with one voice. Now add the benefits of our physical presence in each state, territory and province. It is clear to me that we should have an active voice that is not only heard by lawmakers, but heeded. However, history has proved that not to be the case. This is what we must change," Abshure said.
Abshure went on to say that “If the JOBS Act is any indication, lawmakers appear willing to sacrifice reasonable regulation for perceived economic growth," Abshure said. "However, reasonable regulation is essential to facilitate the investor trust necessary for economic growth."
In 2011, he was appointed as a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies.
Abshure also announced NASAA's new board of directors, including: President-elect Steven Irwin, Pennsylvania securities commissioner; Past President Herstein; Fred Joseph, Colorado securities commissioner; Chris Naylor, Indiana securities commissioner; Douglas Brown, Manitoba securities commission director of legal, enforcement and registrations; Matt Kitzi, Missouri securities commissioner; Melanie Lubin, Maryland securities commissioner; and Patricia Struck, Wisconsin securities administrator.