State Securities Regulators Observe 100 Years of Investor Protection

March Marks Centennial for State Securities Regulation

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 10, 2011) – State securities regulators throughout the United States are observing 100 years of protecting investors. The nation’s first state securities law went into effect on March 10, 1911 in Kansas.

“For 100 years, state securities regulators have served on the front lines of investor protection to ensure a level playing field and a fair deal for all,” said David Massey, president of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and North Carolina Deputy Securities Administrator.

“State securities regulators are proud to continue building on the century-old foundation of putting crooks running investment scams behind bars, returning lost money to investors and teaching our neighbors to spot and report the red flags of investment fraud,” Massey said.

State securities regulators enforce the securities laws of the states, license investment firms and professionals doing business within their jurisdictions, inspect the stockbrokers and investment advisers investors rely on to help them meet their financial goals, and provide investor education resources and programs in their communities.

The most recent NASAA statistics show that in 2009, state securities regulators collectively initiated nearly 2,300 enforcement actions, which led to more than $4.7 billion ordered returned to defrauded investors and 1,786 years in jail for convicted con artists. State securities regulators also conducted more than 1,800 investor education presentations nationwide.

“State securities regulators work hard to protect those ‘mom and pop’ investors who may lack the expertise, experience and resources to adequately protect their own interests,” Massey said.

As the regulators closest to investors, state securities regulators are often first to receive investor complaints, allowing state investigators to identify and stop emerging frauds, prevent harm to other investors, recover stolen funds, and penalize the scam artists.

Reforms are taking shape at the national level to give new authority to state securities regulators to address the challenges facing 21st century investors. “State securities regulators remain dedicated to standing up for the interests of investors as we enter the next century of investor protection,” Massey said.

NASAA plans to celebrate the centennial of state securities regulation at its annual conference, September 11-13, 2011 in Wichita, Kansas.

NASAA is the oldest international organization devoted to investor protection. Its membership includes securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico.

For more information:
Bob Webster, Director of Communications

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