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SROs Have No Legal Authority to Make National Public Policy

ASA Urges SEC to table Nasdaq's proposal and reassert its authority to set national policy in our capital markets.

WASHINGTON – The American Securities Association (ASA) today sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) urging the Commission to table a proposal from the Nasdaq that misuses its self-regulatory organization (SRO) authority to set national public policy regarding board composition.

"ASA members have long recognized the benefits of diversity in the workforce and have taken concrete steps to hire and develop individuals from underrepresented communities," said ASA CEO Chris Iacovella. "That's why we support the goals of Nasdaq's proposal, but we question its use of the listing process to achieve such results."

"It is one thing for Nasdaq as a company to issue a public statement or to lobby elected officials on policy matters; it is quite another for Nasdaq to use its SRO authority as a market regulator to become the policymaker,” Iacovella wrote in the letter. “In short, Nasdaq’s attempt to use the listing rule process in this instance goes far beyond its delegated authority.”

“The ASA would welcome the chance to publicly comment on a formal SEC proposal or a concept release that addresses this issue.”


ASA’s regional financial services companies work in communities across the country to create jobs, grow the economy, and increase prosperity for all Americans. The ASA exclusively represents the capital market and private client interests of its members and seeks to promote free market principles making it easier to access financial advice and capital. ASA members help Americans save for retirement, provide Main Street businesses with capital to grow, and advise hardworking Americans how to create and preserve wealth. For the latest updates follow @AmerSecurities and learn more at


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