Acting SEC Chairman Michael S. Piwowar spoke at the SEC Speaks Conference on February 24, offering his remarks on a variety of topics, including the SEC’s disclosure regime and “non-material” disclosure requirements (referring specifically to conflict minerals, pay ratio and resource extraction disclosure requirements) and the assessment of corporate penalties for wrongdoing, among others. Commissioner Piwowar also commented on what he termed “the artificial distinction between ‘accredited’ and ‘non-accredited’ investors” in relation to registration requirements under the Securities Act of 1933 (or exemption therefrom), arguing that the distinction and the resulting limitation on non-accredited investors investing in securities offered as part of certain exempt offerings effectively prevents them from earning the very highest expected returns and diversifying their portfolios.

The transcript of the acting chairman’s remarks is available here.