October 31, 2013

The Beauty of the SEC’s Going-Away Parties

Recently, Meredith Cross delivered these heartfelt remarks at Paula Dubberly’s going-away party and it reminded me of why working at the SEC is such a special experience. And I thought I would try to explain it to those that have never had the opportunity. [Note that Paula technically retired but she is young and will resurface soon enough with a private sector job.]

Although some aspects of a going-away party of the SEC varies depending on the circumstances, the constant is that a supervisor (or others) makes some kind remarks – and then the person leaving speaks. That alone is quite powerful and something that I haven’t experienced among my numerous jobs during my career. These are not big drinking events. In fact, they traditionally are done on the SEC’s premises at the end of the workday and end by 6 pm. So they are short and simple – but they are a stark reminder that everyone that works at the SEC is on the same team…

Remember “Mr. SEC”?

Here’s some good SEC history. Somebody that was way before my time. Orval L. DuBois (pronounced “Duboise”) joined the SEC Staff when it was organized in 1934 and served as Secretary of the agency from 1942 until he retired in 1971 (and he passed away in ’94). He was widely known as “Mr. SEC.” He served as the SEC’s Secretary even longer than Jack Katz!

In 1931, Orval moved to Washington and went to work at the Federal Trade Commission as a stenographer. He later was secretary to James Landis, an FTC official who helped draft the ’34 Act establishing the SEC and then became one of the founding Commissioners.

If you know any anecdotes about Orval, please share! It’s scary how much of this origin stuff is being lost. I just found a reference that only exchange-listed companies in the early ’60s had to file 10-Ks with SEC – and they also had to file semi-annual reports on Form 9-K…

Can you believe the SEC used to put out an annual report listing all the changes in its rules and regulations, enforcement actions and even stock market stats? There’s even stats about how many broker registrations were made effective, denied, suspended, etc.! Here is the 1954 annual report containing 170 pages…

More on “The Mentor Blog”

We continue to post new items daily on our blog – “The Mentor Blog” – for members. Members can sign up to get that blog pushed out to them via email whenever there is a new entry by simply inputting their email address on the left side of that blog. Here are some of the latest entries:

– California Legislature Passes Resolution to Encourage Board Diversity
– FASB Standard-Setting Update
– FINRA Proposes Amending Spinning Rule on Written Representation Procedures
– The Need to Diligence CFOs & Controllers Before Hiring
– FINRA Files Amendment to Spinning Rule on Written Representation Procedures

– Broc Romanek