The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Martha Legg Miller has been named as the first Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation.

The position and the new Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation were created pursuant to the bipartisan SEC Small Business Advocate Act of 2016. As the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation, Ms. Miller will oversee the office dedicated to continuing to advance the interests of small businesses and their investors at the SEC and in our capital markets. The office will, among other things, provide assistance to small businesses, conduct outreach to better understand the obstacles small businesses face when attempting to access the capital markets, and recommend improvements to the regulatory environment to help facilitate capital formation. Ms. Miller will report directly to the Commission and will work collaboratively with the many staff across the agency focused on helping small businesses access our capital markets in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Ms. Miller, currently a partner at the Birmingham, Alabama, firm Balch & Bingham LLP, will assume her new role in January 2019. Ms. Miller has been at Balch & Bingham since 2012, where she represents private companies and investors across a spectrum of corporate transactions, including matters related to the financing of small- and medium-sized businesses. She also serves as an adviser for several organizations dedicated to helping start-ups, entrepreneurs, and small businesses, including several focused on women- and minority-owned companies and their investors. Ms. Miller has served these organizations in a variety of ways, including as a board member of an incubator and legal counsel to an angel investor network.

Chairman Jay Clayton and Commissioners Kara Stein, Robert Jackson, Hester Peirce, and Elad Roisman said, “We are excited for Martha to take on this new and important role. Martha’s extensive experience working with a diverse set of companies, entrepreneurs and investors – including in communities away from the coasts - will allow her to serve as a direct link to, and advocate for, the many small businesses around the country that drive our local and national economies for the benefit of Main Street investors.”

“Having spent my career working closely with a variety of businesses and their investors, I have a deep appreciation for the needs they face at different phases of their growth,” said Ms. Miller. “I am truly honored to have the opportunity to serve as the first Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation, where I will work alongside the many talented professionals at the SEC to encourage capital access for privately-held and smaller public companies. I look forward to the work ahead crafting solutions that meet the needs of businesses across the country.”

Ms. Miller holds bachelor’s degrees in Cognitive Neuroscience and Communication Studies from Vanderbilt University and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center. 

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