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U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee

SEC Comes Under Fire for Lack of Diversity on Advisory Committees

The SEC has 79 advisory committee members, but only three of them are black and one is Latino, according to a review by the House Financial Services Committee.

Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chairwoman for the House Financial Services Committee, and Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission this week, criticizing the agency’s lack of diversity on its advisory committees. That includes the SEC’s newest committee, the Asset Management Advisory Committee, which held its first meeting on Tuesday. That committee has no black members.

“It is no surprise that the Asset Management Advisory Committee with its limited diverse membership would propose an agenda for its inaugural meeting with no plan to discuss the historical bias against and limited investment with diverse-owned asset management firms,” the letter said.

At its first meeting, the committee discussed the evolution of asset management and its value proposition, the evolution of public and private securities offerings, and the globalization of asset management.

Some of the familiar names on the new Asset Management Advisory Committee include Mike Durbin, president of Fidelity Institutional; Neesha Hathi, executive vice president and chief digital officer at Charles Schwab; Mark Tibergien, managing director and CEO of Advisor Solutions at Pershing; and Jeffrey Ptak, head of global manager research at Morningstar Research Services.

The House committee’s review found that just three of the SEC’s 79 advisory committee members are black. The committees consist of seven Asian women, one black woman and no Latinas. There is one Latino male, who serves on two committees.

“To most effectively articulate industry concerns to the SEC, these committees should represent the diversity of the issue areas as well as reflect the demographic diversity of the businesses and consumers under SEC authority and purview,” the letter said.

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