In an effort to increase the number of initial public offerings (IPOs), the SEC is exploring a deregulatory move that would permit all companies to hold private talks with investors before announcing they will sell stock. If implemented, this move would allow companies to keep sensitive financial filings private if they do not go through with the IPO. Given that the number of public companies has fallen by nearly 50% since the late 1990s, this move may be helpful in realizing SEC Chairman Jay Clayton's goal to boost the number of public companies in the United States. The decline in U.S. IPOs results from a number of factors, including an expanded availability of private capital. Since Clayton took the reins of the SEC in May 2017, the market has noted a more proactive and responsive SEC in assisting companies as they navigate the complex IPO process.