Expansion of Securities Commission Recommended

Article excerpt

The Special Committee on Securities Industry Reform Monday recommended that the three-member Oklahoma Securities Commission be expanded to five by adding two experienced members from the securities industry.

The committee, mandated by language in the securities commission's appropriations bill for fiscal 1989, is made up of legislators and securities industry representatives, such as securities lawyers, underwriters and stockbrokers.

Several committee members urged revamping the commission by including more knowledgeable, experienced securities industry people. One member, Wayne VonFeldt of the Oklahoma City office of Stifel Nicolaus & Co., suggested brokers and investment advisers with at least five years' experience.

"We're almost dismissing the importance of experience in the industry," VonFeldt said.

But Tulsa securities lawyer David Newsome, a former securities department administrator, said anyone licensed by the department should not be on the commission, since the commission regulates their activities and it would "appear improper for the regulated to appear as regulator."

Bruce Day, an Oklahoma City securities lawyer, said that some of the criticism of the commission stems from its lack of members with securities experience. The conflict of interest could be addressed, Day said, by the members' abstention from votes where their company or clients are involved.

However, Newsome said, the two industry representatives would also face their fiduciary duty to both their companies and clients and the commission and the people it regulates. Employers and stockholders would expect information about any department action affecting their company, while the department would expect certain information to be held confidential by the commissioners, he said. …