Statement in Support of the Establishment of the Standards Advisory Group

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am very pleased to support the establishment of the Standards Advisory Group and the dissolution of prior advisory groups.  

One of the goals in our Strategic Plan is to enhance transparency and accessibility through proactive stakeholder engagement. The prior groups have served us well historically and over time have provided valuable input to the Board. It is however important for us to continue to focus on the most effective ways to not only engage broadly and proactively with our various stakeholders, but also to receive advice on specific topics or issues.

Advisory groups are one way for us to hear from our stakeholders. Public meetings of large groups may not however be the most effective way to hear or understand the views or concerns of all important stakeholders on specific matters. The approach that is embodied within the charter for the new group that we are approving today is however new and different. I think the smaller group will allow for more meaningful participation by individual members, and in particular, investors. Through the tasking process, the Board will be able to seek targeted and timely feedback on specific issues, in particular as they relate to our standard setting activities. I am looking forward to putting our new group in place and seeing how it works in practice. I also anticipate us being nimble and open to considering and making any necessary adjustments as we roll it out.

Much progress has been made in the past few years to expand our outreach programs, including through the formation of the Office of External Affairs and the hiring of Erin Dwyer, our first-ever stakeholder liaison to investors, audit committees and preparers. Under Erin’s leadership, we are engaging in targeted and fulsome conversations with our primary stakeholders in expanded and evolving ways. I believe this strategic outreach and our new advisory group are not only complementary, but will allow us to engage with a wide variety of stakeholders in a meaningful and comprehensive way.

I would like to thank those who have served on prior advisory groups for their important contributions, and thank you in advance to those who will apply to serve on our new group. I also want to thank my fellow board members for our constructive discussions and the staff who have provided support to the development of the charter that is the subject of today’s recommendation.