Washington, D.C., Jan. 11, 2006— LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Alan L. Beller, Director of the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Senior Counselor to the Commission, will leave the Commission to return to the private sector. Under Mr. Beller’s leadership, the Division produced the fastest-paced and most far-reaching corporate governance, financial disclosure and securities offering reforms in Commission history.
Mr. Beller leaves the Commission after having played a leadership role in a number of the early initiatives of Chairman Christopher Cox, including proposed rules to allow Internet delivery of proxy materials; to ease the deregistration process for foreign issuers; to propose improved disclosure of executive compensation; and to expand use of interactive data to make financial reports more useful for investors.
Mr. Beller, 56, who assumed his current positions in January 2002, will remain at the Commission until February 2006 to assist with ongoing and transition matters.
Chairman Cox said, “Alan has made enormous contributions to the SEC’s mission of investor protection over the last four years. He has led the most prodigious and substantial activity in the Division’s and the Commission’s history, including the rulemaking effort to implement the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. His talents and experience cover the spectrum of the Commission’s responsibilities, and his role at the SEC has consequently extended well beyond the Division of Corporation Finance. I particularly appreciate the role he has played as advisor to the Chairman on important regulatory issues across the board. He not only has been a leading figure in this very significant time in the Commission’s history, but he also will be recognized as one of the giants of the SEC of all time.”
Mr. Beller said, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve under Chairman Cox and his two predecessors, William Donaldson and Harvey Pitt, as well as the Commissioners who have served during my time at the agency. It has been an equal honor and privilege to work with the talented and dedicated public servants in the Division of Corporation Finance and throughout the Commission. I have had no experience in my career as satisfying as working with the men and women of the Commission and serving the interests of American investors and American markets.”
Mr. Beller served during an unprecedented period of activity in the Division and at the Commission, meeting every deadline for rulemaking directed by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The landmark investor protection legislation required adoption of more than fifteen separate rules prepared by the Division, some as quickly as thirty days and virtually all within six months of its enactment. Among Sarbanes-Oxley rules for which the Division was responsible were those requiring certification of the accuracy and completeness of company reports by chief executive officers and chief financial officers; accelerated electronic filing of insider trading reports; and listing standards mandating independent audit committees with increased responsibilities.
Mr. Beller led other major Commission initiatives carried out at the Division of Corporation Finance, including the drafting of Commission rules that produced the most significant reforms in decades to the securities offering process. He also led the rulemaking effort that produced the first comprehensive Commission rules for registration and disclosure for the asset-backed securities market, which by 2004 had grown to be larger than the corporate debt market but was not governed by a rules-based regulatory framework. Further, he led the Division’s efforts to draft rules adopted by the Commission that accelerated filings of periodic reports and implemented for the first time a real-time current disclosure system for material events.
The Division of Corporation Finance is responsible for the review of the filings of the more than 12,000 public companies that file reports with the Commission. Under Mr. Beller’s leadership the Division substantially revamped its procedures for selecting filings for review and allocating its review resources to focus on larger companies that represent the vast majority of investment dollars, periodic reports available to trading markets where most investment decisions are made, and financial disclosure that generally contains the most important information for investors.
Mr. Beller was also instrumental in last year’s establishment of the Commission’s Advisory Committee on Smaller Public Companies, which is charged with making recommendations to the Commission regarding improved regulation of smaller companies. The Advisory Committee’s final report to the Commission is due in the spring of 2006.
He also helped foster unprecedented cooperation between the Division of Corporation Finance and the Commission’s Office of the Chief Accountant to implement and refine the requirements of the Commission and the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board for company assessment and auditor attestation of internal controls over financial reporting, as well as the Commission’s oversight of the Board.