A. Heath Abshure of Arkansas to Lead North American Securities Administrators Association

SAN DIEGO (September 11, 2012) – Arkansas Securities Commissioner A. Heath Abshure today began a one-year term as president of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection.

In his inaugural address at NASAA’s annual conference, Abshure said his presidency will focus on NASAA’s response to a rapidly changing regulatory environment. “I want to focus on what we can do, and if we harmonize our efforts, what we can become,” he said.

“Considering our illustrious history, our excellent track record, our universal reputation for fighting the good fight, and our physical presence throughout all of North America, we stand poised to be the most thoughtful, appropriate, and influential voice whenever changes to the system of securities regulation are being considered,” Abshure said.

“Consider our ability to strike the reasonable balance between investor protection and capital formation along with our ability to speak reasonably and collectively with one voice. Now add the benefits of our physical presence in each state, territory, and province. It is clear to me that we should have an active voice that is not only heard by lawmakers, but heeded. However, history has proved that not to be the case. This is what we must change,” Abshure said.

“We must show that our role strikes the most reasonable balance between investor protection and capital formation. If the JOBS Act is any indication, lawmakers appear willing to sacrifice reasonable regulation for perceived economic growth. However, reasonable regulation is essential to facilitate the investor trust necessary for economic growth,” Abshure said. “But all too often, lawmakers believe that unregulated markets promote growth. We must persuade lawmakers that this belief is misguided and prove that we are the best option to promote capital formation while at the same time maximizing safe and secure investing for consumers.”

Abshure also announced NASAA’s new Board of Directors, including: President-elect Steven Irwin, Pennsylvania Securities Commissioner; Past President, Jack E. Herstein, Assistant Director of the Nebraska Department of Banking & Finance; Fred Joseph, Colorado Securities Commissioner; Chris Naylor, Indiana Securities Commissioner; Douglas Brown, Manitoba Securities Commission Director of Legal, Enforcement & Registrations; Matt Kitzi, Missouri Securities Commissioner; Melanie Lubin, Maryland Securities Commissioner; and Patricia Struck, Wisconsin Securities Administrator.

For the past year, Abshure has served as NASAA’s President-elect, Vice President, and chair of the Corporation Finance Section. He was appointed as Arkansas Securities Commissioner in December 2007 by Governor Mike Beebe. In this role, Abshure oversees the Arkansas Securities Department, the state agency charged with oversight of all aspects of the securities industry, as well as certain aspects of the mortgage lending and money services industries. In 2011, he was appointed as a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies. The complete text of Abshure’s address is available here.

For more information:

Bob Webster, Director of Communications

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