Created earlier this month, the Investors’ Working Group (IWG) is co-sponsored by the Council of Institutional Investors and the CFA Institute Centre for Financial Market Integrity. Headed by Arthur Levitt Jr.–SEC chairman from 1993 to 2001–and William Donaldson, CFA–chairman of the commission from 2003 to 2005–the task force will issue an initial report and recommendations by late spring.
“Too often, the views of investors get short shrift in discussions about how to modernize our financial regulatory system,” said Donaldson in an announcement to the press. “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.”
The task force results from a belief by both the CFA Institute and the CII that ongoing national discussions about regulatory reform have focused on “containing costs for issuers and dealers in the U.S. capital markets–largely ignoring investor considerations.”
‘This group has been established to work with policymakers in efforts to restore public confidence by seeing to it that regulatory changes will include consideration of the primacy of investor interest,” Levitt explained. “[We] 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.”
Kurt Schacht, managing director of the CFA Institute, and Joe Dear, CII chairman and executive director of the Washington State Investment Board, will sit on the panel which includes–among others–Columbia Law School Professor Harvey Goldschmidt, a former SEC commissioner; Barbara Roper, director of Investor Protection for the Consumer Federation of America; Bill Miller, CFA, chairman and CIO of Legg Mason Capital Management, Inc.; Jeremy Grantham, co-founder and chairman of GMO, LLC; Peter R. Fisher, managing director and co-head of fixed income, BlackRock and David F. Swensen, CIO, Yale University.