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The United States Securities and Exchange Commission is the independent, non-partisan, federal agency that administers U.S. laws that provide protection for investors. The SEC was created under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to ensure that securities markets are fair and honest. In addition, the SEC acts as an advisor to federal courts in corporate reorganization proceedings under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1978. The Commission is composed of five members: a chairman and four commissioners. Commission members are appointed by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, for five-year terms, and the chairman is designated by the President. Terms are staggered; one expires on June 5 of every year. Not more than three members may be of the same political party.
 
The Commission meets to deliberate on and resolve issues such as interpretations of federal securities laws, amendments to existing rules under the laws, new rules (usually to reflect changed conditions in the marketplace), actions to enforce the laws or to discipline those subject to direct regulation, legislation to be proposed by the Commission, and matters concerning administration of the Commission itself. The Commission staff is organized into divisions including the following:
 
  • The Division of Corporation Finance, which ensures that disclosure requirements are met by publicly held companies registered with the Commission.
  • The Division of Market Regulation, which is responsible for overseeing the activity of the secondary markets, for registration and regulation of broker-dealers, and for supervising self-regulating organizations (such as the nation's stock exchanges). In addition, the division monitors the activities, including trading and sales practices, of other participants in the secondary market, and examines policies that affect the operation of the securities markets.
  • The Division of Investment Management, which ensures compliance with regulations regarding the registration, financial responsibility, sales practices, and advertising of mutual funds and of investment advisers. The division's Office of Public Utility Regulation oversees the activities of the 12 active registered holding-company systems.
  • The Division of Investment Management, which ensures compliance with regulations regarding the registration, financial responsibility, sales practices, and advertising of mutual funds and of investment advisers. The division's Office of Public Utility Regulation oversees the activities of the 12 active registered holding-company systems.
  • The Division of Enforcement, which supervises the enforcement of federal securities laws, investigates possible violations of these laws, and recommends appropriate remedies for consideration by the Commission.
 
For public information on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission the interested individual can write to:
 
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
450 Fifth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20549
(202) 272-3100 (information line)
(202) 272-7460 (publications of SEC educational and informational materials)
Fast Answers Link
www.sec.gov
 
U.S. Government Printing Office 
(to order the SEC Annual Report, $5)
(202) 512-1800
 
 

Regional Office of the SEC

 
Atlanta District Office
3475 Lenox Road, NE, Suite 1000
Atlanta, GA 30326
(404) 842-7600
 
Boston District Office
73 Tremont Street, Suite 600
Boston, MA 02108
(617) 424-5900
 
Midwest Regional Office
Northwestern Atrium Center
500 W. Madison Street, Suite 1400
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 353-7390
 
Central Regional Office
1801 California Street, Suite 4800
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 391-6800
 
Fort Worth District Office
801 Cherry Street, 19th Floor
Fort Worth, TX 76102
(817)334-3821
 
Pacific Regional Office
5760 Wilshire Boulevard, 11th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(213) 965-3998
 
Southeast Regional Office
1401 Brickell Avenue, Suite 200
Miami, FL 33131
(305) 536-5765
 
Northeast Regional Office
7 World Trade Center, Suite 1300
New York, NY 10048
(212) 748-8000
 
Philadelphia District Office
The Curtis Center, Suite 1005 E
601 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106
(215) 597-3100
 
Salt Lake District Office
500 Key Bank Tower
50 S. Main Street, Suite 500
Salt Lake City, UT 84144
(801) 524-5796
 
San Francisco District Office
44 Montgomery Street, 11th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
(415) 705-2500
 
Seattle District Office
3040 Jackson Federal Building
915 Second Avenue
Seattle, WA 98174
(206) 220-7500