A Century of Investor Protection and Service
NASAA: 1919 | 2019
One hundred years ago, a small group of state securities regulators had a big idea— form a network of colleagues to work together for the protection of investors throughout North America.
Today, that group is made up of the securities regulators in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Together, we are the North American Securities Administrators Association.
And In 2019, we begin our second century of service. We’ve seen a lot of changes and overcome a lot of challenges in our first 100 years. We’re looking to the future excited about what the next century may bring. In the end though, we know that our past, our present and our future mission is investor protection. It’s what we do.
We are NASAA.
The state and provincial securities regulators who comprise NASAA’s membership have protected Main Street investors from fraud for more than 100 years, longer than any other securities regulator. State securities regulation predates the creation of the federal Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) by more than two decades.
Regulation of securities offerings and the licensing of broker-dealers and their agents by a state are governed by what is known as “blue sky” law. The term “blue sky” referred to speculative schemes that, in the words of a judge of the period, had no more substance than so many feet of “blue sky.” The first modern state blue sky law was adopted in 1911 in Kansas. The Kansas law served as the nationwide model for state and provincial securities regulation. Manitoba became the first Canadian province to approve securities legislation 1912. For more on the origins of blue sky law, see “A Century of Investor Protection” (pdf).
NASAA was organized in Kansas in 1919 following its first annual meeting in 1918 in Chicago, Illinois, where H.L. Carnham of California presided as NASAA’s first president. Click here for a list of NASAA Presidents. The association operated a small business office in Topeka, Kansas, and hired its first executive director in 1983. NASAA moved its Corporate Office to Washington, D.C. in 1987.
Today, NASAA is the oldest international investor protection organization with a membership consisting of 67 state, provincial, and territorial securities administrators in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico.
Our primary goal has been and remains to advocate and act for the protection of investors, especially those who lack the expertise, experience and resources to protect their own interests. We are driven by our conviction that every investor deserves protection and an even break, and that the welfare of investors must not be sacrificed in the process of capital formation.