Chair Gary Gensler
Paris, France (Via video)
Nov. 23, 2023
Bonjour. My thanks to Chair Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani for the opportunity to congratulate the AMF upon your 20th anniversary.
You know, coming together as a securities regulator, you have an important mission. And while it’s not exactly the same as ours here in the U.S. at the SEC, it captures so much of what we both do. Looking out for investors, ensuring that issuers can access the markets, and—I understand from your mission—it’s about ensuring that material information is put out there to investors. It’s about ensuring for the fair and orderly markets that bring those issuers and investors together.
During the last 20 years, the SEC has counted on the AMF as an important partner in fulfilling our respective missions. Again, though our missions differ, I think at their core there’s some real commonality. We’re disclosure-based regulators ensuring that investors get the material information they need and that issuers can rely on a fair, orderly, and efficient market. It’s about ensuring that there’s not fraud or manipulation in those markets as well.
Here at the SEC, we work to make sure that markets are efficient, competitive, resilient, transparent, and worthy of the public’s trust. And I know at the AMF, while the words might be different, you are working towards a very similar set of goals.
I’ve been privileged to serve not only at the SEC but in prior administrations working alongside your earlier AMF. And what I know from those 20 years—13 of which I actually worked with the AMF alongside of you all—I know that we share these joint missions.
I also know that a lot’s changed in these last 20 years, driven by technology, changes of markets, a further globalization of the capital markets, and, yes, the electronification of markets. Both the AMF and the SEC seek to make sure that we still achieve our missions on behalf of investors and issuers alike—and those fair and orderly markets in the middle—given the new times and challenges.
Of course, there’s new challenges on the horizon, the remarkable change of predictive data analytics, and how artificial intelligence has already changed a lot of what’s happening in the capital markets. And how at just a tap of a button or the use of a cell phone, you can trade nearly 24 hours a day, seven days a week, around the globe.
I also know from my years of experience working alongside the AMF and knowing the dedicated staff of the SEC that what really makes a good market regulator—or a good supervisor, if I use your term—is somebody who’s dedicated to the public. Somebody who every day comes in with a little bit of humility but comes in fearless to protect the public, to look after those investors and issuers alike, to do right by the public, and instill confidence and trust in the markets.
For me, speaking as chair of the SEC, I can’t help but think of a quote from a critical SEC report that came out 60 years ago, in 1963. The report said, and I quote, “No regulation can be static in a dynamic society.”
You think about that. Everything’s changing so quickly.
Further, the report continued, and I quote, “Unanticipated changes in the markets and the broader public participation should be accompanied by corresponding investor protection.”
The focus on investor protection.
And in recent decades, we’ve seen tremendous growth and change in our capital markets in France and the U.S. alike—more people trading than ever before, using tools and technology that were unavailable and maybe unthinkable even a few years ago. Further, the technology is rapidly evolving. From electronic trading and the cloud, artificial intelligence and predictive data analytics, these changes are transforming how our markets operate, how businesses conduct business, how investors invest.
The challenges that we both face at the AMF and the SEC, I think at the core, are how we continue to drive efficiencies, promote financial stability, meet the match of the bad actors to protect against fraud and manipulation, and yes, modernize our rulesets—as markets grow and evolve.
Our mission—serving Americans here and you serving your public there—demands no less.
After all, no matter how remarkable our country’s respective capital markets are, we cannot take them for granted.
Look, we all know a gold medalist doesn’t become a gold medalist unless they train and they continue to train. Well, I guess given that France will be hosting next year’s Summer Olympics in 2024, this point might already be on your minds.
I congratulate the AMF again on this 20th anniversary. I thank you for working so closely with us here in America these last 20 years. And I wish your team and your public success in the decades to come.
 “Report of Special Study of Securities Markets of the Securities and Exchange Commission” (1963), p. IV, available at https://www.sechistorical.org/collection/papers/1960/1963_SSMkt_Chapter_01_1.pdf.