Thank you, Chairman Olson.
The rules before the Board today identify when it may be appropriate for a registered firm to retain its registration status after a merger or a change in legal form. These rules, provide a mechanism for registered firms to retain their registration status when appropriate and avoid the 45-day registration process as well as additional registration fees. With these rules in place, a registered firm contemplating certain mergers or a change in legal form can now anticipate the steps required to retain registration without an interruption in service to their public company clients. In particular, I see these rules as helpful to smaller registered firms and I support adoption of the rule.
I would also like to congratulate the staff – in particular Michael Stevenson and Sarah Williams – for their work in providing firms with an option to seamlessly retain their registration status.