WASHINGTON – The Securities and Exchange Commission recently published a draft contract proposal in preparation for a study comparing how the different regulatory systems that apply to broker-dealers and investment advisers affect individual investors. Broker-dealers are regulated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Investment advisers are regulated under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. The study will examine how the disparate regimes affect investors, SEC said. The study was first suggested in connection with a rule adopted by the commission in April 2005 that allowed broker-dealers to offer fee-based brokerage accounts without being required to comply with the Advisers Act. “Our goal is to improve investor protection by updating our regulation to deal with the realities of today’s marketplace,” Chairman Christopher Cox said. “We will develop the best available information, from inside and outside of the Commission, to inform this important process. We welcome public input on the proposal.” The “request for information” provides that a contractor conducting the study would have a proven track record of producing “high quality, unbiased, qualitative and quantitative research” and be knowledgeable about the subject matter of the study. The commission released the RFI in draft form to solicit informal expressions of interest and comments from those who might seek to perform the work and from parties interested in the eventual results study. The full text can be accessed at http://www.sec.gov/rules/other/2006/34-54077.pdf. The SEC’s rule providing for the study appears at http://www.sec.gov/rules/final/34-51523.pdf. Comments on the draft solicitation are due by July 19.

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