The SEC's Bob Plaze, who has been regulating money market mutual funds for the majority of their 40-year existence, announced his pending retirement yesterday. A press release entitled, "Deputy Director of Division of Investment Management Robert E. Plaze Retiring After Almost 30 Years at SEC," says, "The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Robert E. Plaze, the Deputy Director of the Division of Investment Management, is retiring from public service at the end of August after almost 30 years at the SEC. Mr. Plaze has been a key architect of the rules governing investment advisers, investment companies, and private fund advisers. He joined the SEC in 1983 as an attorney in the Division of Investment Management, which oversees the multi-trillion dollar investment management industry, and went on to become a Special Counsel, Assistant Director, Associate Director for Regulatory Policy, and Deputy Director."
SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro comments, "Few people have had as great an impact shaping the regulatory landscape for the benefit of individual investors. Bob's keen intellect and passion for investor protection have been central to virtually every significant rule affecting mutual funds and investment advisers for more than a generation."
Norm Champ, new Director of the Division of Investment Management, adds, "Bob has been instrumental in the creation of the regulatory regime for investment advisers and investment companies. He has worked in numerous capacities in the division and has had a long and distinguished career working on behalf of investors."
The release adds, "Mr. Plaze was most recently responsible for rulemaking for money market mutual funds and to implement a Dodd-Frank Act requirement for hedge fund and other private fund advisers to register with the SEC. He also played a critical role in rulemaking to improve mutual fund governance practices, to include fee tables in mutual fund prospectuses, to standardize the method of calculating mutual fund performance used in advertisements, to require mutual funds and investment advisers to adopt compliance programs, to require investment advisers to deliver a plain-English brochure to clients, and to protect pension funds and other investors from "pay to play" practices."
Plaze says. "It's been an honor and privilege to work at the Commission. When I began, I expected to stay a few years, but I found that the issues were so engaging and the work so important that I remained here for nearly three decades." The release adds, "Among his many accomplishments, Mr. Plaze is a past recipient of the SEC's Distinguished Service Award, and twice received the agency's Law and Policy Award. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and Georgetown University Law Center."
In other news, on Wednesday the U.S. Treasury commented on floating rate notes and negative interest rates. It issued a statement entitled, "Treasury Acting Assistant Secretary for Financial Markets Matthew Rutherford August 2012 Quarterly Refunding Statement, saying, "Treasury plans to develop a floating rate note (FRN) program to complement the existing suite of securities issued and to support our broader debt management objectives. The first FRN auction is estimated to be at least one year away. The timeframe reflects Treasury's best estimate for implementing required auction regulations and IT systems modifications. In the coming quarters, Treasury will provide additional information on the details of the program."
It adds, "Treasury is in the process of building the operational capabilities to allow for negative rate bidding in Treasury bill auctions, should we make the determination to allow such bidding in the future. Treasury encourages market participants to study their systems and report any operational issues that could arise from Treasury bill auctions settling at negative rates."