August 30, 2018 / 6:01 PM / a year ago

U.S. SEC chairman wants more main street investors to invest in private companies: WSJ

FILE PHOTO: Jay Clayton, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, testifies at a Senate Banking hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

(Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission wants to make it easier for individuals to invest in private companies, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing an interview with the agency’s chairman.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said the commission also wants to take steps to give more individual investors a shot at companies that have avoided going public for years and is weighing a overhaul of rules intended to protect mom-and-pop investors, the newspaper said.

Clayton’s proposed moves come after Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk unnerved the Wall Street when he announced a go-private deal at $420 a share, saying it would benefit shareholders by removing short-term pressures by hiding the company’s financials from the public eye.

Under Clayton, a Donald Trump appointee, the SEC has taken steps to relax rules for issuers, including allowing firms going public to file information confidentially, and is currently discussing easing other compliance rules.

Earlier this month, Trump asked securities regulators to explore replacing quarterly reporting requirements with half-yearly filings at the urging of executives.

Reporting by Sonam Rai in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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