For nearly seven years, the OTCQX Advisory Council has played an integral role in supporting OTC Markets Group’s issuer advocacy and regulatory recognition efforts. This nine-member board comprises a diverse mix of CEOs and CFOs representing key geographies and industries such as community banks; retail; utility; and technology focused companies. Providing a valuable feedback loop to our senior management team, their unique purview and collective feedback has helped OTC Markets increase transparency and improve market efficiency for OTCQX-traded issuers and the public markets.
In the first quarter of 2021 we welcomed two new members to the OTCQX Advisory Council: Farzana Giga, CFO of Crossroads Systems (OTCQX: CRSS) and Jim Marcelli, President of Colorado based Lightwave Logic (OTCQX: LWLG). In March, the OTCQX Advisory Council held their first virtual meeting.
We’ve consulted the OTCQX issuer community on key issues that help drive our initiatives forward from both a regulatory and visibility perspective. OTCQX Advisory Council members have twice accompanied us to Washington DC to meet with Congressional representatives to discuss our goals for regulatory modernizations that will enable smaller companies to provide a more efficient public market for investors.
Our Advisory Council members were instrumental in championing ESOP reform regulations to modernize markets and increase the benefits of being a public company. Insights from these key advisors led to OTC Markets strong support of the bipartisan ESOP Fairness Act (S.3270) (H.R.5851) introduced last year by Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Gary Peters (D-MI) and Representatives Mike Kelly (R-PA-16) and Brian Higgins (D-NY-26). The reintroduction and passage of this bill would essentially enable OTCQX-traded companies to easily introduce ESOP plans to their employees.
The Council also played an important role in our advocacy efforts to achieve national recognition for Blue Sky compliance for secondary trading for OTCQX-traded companies. We’ve made significant inroads with the most recent addition of Virginia and are now at 37 states that recognize OTCQX companies for Blue Sky compliance.
More recently, the Council provided support for updating the Federal Reserve’s rules governing margin eligibility requirements for certain qualifying OTCQX-traded stocks; this in turn would allow shareholders to access additional value by borrowing against their holdings and would have a direct impact on an issuer’s ability to raise additional capital. Earlier in March, members of Congress sent a letter to the Fed Chairman requesting support on this important issue.
Corporate Visibility Efforts
Shining a spotlight on corporate visibility efforts, OTCQX Advisory Council members have provided valuable feedback as strong proponents of our Virtual Investor Conferences platform for OTCQX and OTCQB traded-issuers to effectively tell their stories to investors.
We continue to glean insights from the Council on important legislative issues that affect OTCQX traded companies and solicit input from these key stakeholders on ways to provide the most efficient public markets for OTCQX companies.
Please click here to view profiles of the 2021 OTCQX Issuer Advisory Council members.
If you have any questions, or would like additional information about the OTCQX Advisory Council, please contact Bob Power at (917) 574-1055 or firstname.lastname@example.org.