See why ACA Insight is the leading newsletter on regulatory compliance. Sign up for a free 1-week trial.

The weekly news source for investment management legal and compliance professionals

Topic: SEC Operations and Agenda

SEC Deals with Backlog as It Resumes Full Operations

February 1, 2019
This past week marked the first full week that the SEC, as well as much of the rest of the federal government, resumed business since the shutdown began on December 22. It will likely be several weeks more, however, until the agency deals with the backlog of applications, requests, examination actions, enforcement matters and more, enabling it to move forward at its previous pace.

Read More

IAA Urges SEC Not to Further Regulate Proxy Advisory Firms

January 23, 2019
The Investment Adviser Association is continuing its effort to head off attempts to further regulate proxy advisory firms. It recently sent a letter to the SEC urging the agency not to take such steps, following up on a similar letter with the same theme it sent to the Senate Banking Committee a few weeks before.

Read More

SEC Registration and Year One: What New Advisers Should Expect

January 23, 2019
Advisory firms preparing to register with the SEC, a group that includes brand new firms, existing firms that just surpassed the $100 million mark in assets under management, and those setting up a new firm, need to prepare for their first year under the agency’s eyes – a year that may include at least a phone call from examiners.

Read More

Cato Institute Challenges SEC’s Use of Settlement Gag Orders

January 18, 2019
The Cato Institute, the well-known libertarian think tank, took aim at the SEC this month. It filed a complaint against the Commission in federal court, challenging the SEC’s use of the gag order that prevents settlement respondents from denying the allegations in their settlements or telling their side of the story.

Read More

The SEC Strikes Back: EDGAR Hacking Suspects Found and Charged

January 18, 2019
Nine suspects – hackers, traders and other entities from multiple countries – were charged by the SEC January 15 in federal court with perpetrating the 2016 hack of the agency’s online Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis and Retrieval (EDGAR) system, including some of its personally identifiable information.

Read More

Government Shutdown Leaves Advisers, Funds Hanging

January 11, 2019
The partial government shutdown – which includes the SEC – is now approximately three weeks old, and the effect on advisers, funds and others regulated by the agency is only likely to grow the longer it stays in effect. Most aspects of SEC regulation – examinations, answers to questions or requests, enforcement and more – have slowed considerably, if not stopped, leaving advisory firms and investment companies that are dependent on the SEC without a clear path forward.

Read More

Clayton Addresses Past and Future in Senate Testimony

January 4, 2019
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, in testimony before a Senate committee, spoke of the agency’s achievements during 2018, as well as what it hoped to do in the coming year. Throughout the hearing, he stressed his ongoing themes, among them looking out for retail investors and staying on top of technological changes, including digital currencies and cybersecurity.

Read More

The Year Ahead: New and Revised Rules, Cryptocurrency and Cybersecurity Enforcement

January 4, 2019
Advisory firms, investment companies and broker-dealers should get ready for some changes as 2019 takes off. Among other things, they will be likely to deal with new rules, revisions to existing rules, and enforcement efforts targeted at reining in cryptocurrencies and strengthening cybersecurity.

Read More

2018 in Review: Standards of Care, Cryptocurrencies, SEC Changes and More

December 21, 2018
With the past year almost over and a new one about to begin, it’s time to take a look back and take stock of what was accomplished in 2018 and what issues remain. The past 12 months found major developments involving standards of care for advisers and broker-dealers, the emergence of an SEC strategy regarding cryptocurrencies, a full year in office for a new SEC team and philosophy, the rising challenges of cybersecurity, and more.

Read More

Watchdog’s Six-Month Report Card Provides Updates on Investigations of SEC

December 14, 2018
A potential leak of nonpublic information, securities fraud and obstruction of an SEC proceeding, threats against an administrative law judge, an SEC official operating a hedge fund, and improper influence. These are just some of the allegations against the agency that its Office of the Inspector General has investigated over the past six months, and on which the OIG reports in its latest Semiannual Report to Congress.

Read More

Commission Ethics Counsel Retires

December 7, 2018
SEC Ethics Counsel and Designated Agency Ethics Official Shira Pavis Minton announced December 4 that she will be retiring from the agency this month after nearly 10 years with the SEC and more than 20 years with the federal government, according to the agency.

Read More

Ruling Against SEC in ICO Case May Upset Agency’s Cryptocurrency Strategy

December 7, 2018
The question of whether a digital token constitutes a security may have been put into play by a federal judge’s ruling in an ongoing case involving the SEC and a company engaged in a digital coin offering (ICO). The judge turned down the agency’s request for a preliminary injunction against the company, saying that the SEC had not sufficiently proved that the digital tokens involved met the definition of a security.

Read More

Adviser Association Finds Recent Testing of Proposed Form CRS ‘Flawed’

December 7, 2018
The Investment Adviser Association is not happy with the recent testing of the SEC’s proposed Form CRS. In a December 6 statement, the IAA said that the testing of the relationship summary form, conducted by the Rand Corporation at the agency’s behest, “is substantially flawed and does not provide a reasonable basis for adopting Form CRS as proposed.”

Read More

Proxy Advisory Firms Again Front and Center Following SEC Roundtable

November 30, 2018
The role of proxy advisory firms returned to center stage in recent days following an SEC roundtable that raised questions about the influence such firms have over advisers and funds, conflicts of interest, whether proxy advisers should be regulated, and more. As with a similar roundtable five years ago, viewpoints were aired, with questions remaining about what actions, if any, might be taken at some future date.

Read More

SEC Draws a Digital Line in the Sand for Cryptocurrencies

November 30, 2018
The SEC, in a recent statement and through recent enforcement actions, made its view on cryptocurrencies clear: Any digital asset deemed to be a security must meet Commission registration requirements. That includes initial offers and sales of these securities, investment vehicles placing money in digital asset securities and those advising others to do the same, or secondary market trading of such products.

Read More

Form CRS: Investor Survey Finds Overall Satisfaction, but Improvements Needed

November 16, 2018
Form CRS, like a number of the SEC’s standards of care proposals, has run into significant industry criticism, but the Commission may take some satisfaction from a recent investor survey finding that nearly 90 percent of respondents said that the form would help them make more informed decisions about investment accounts and services.

Read More

SEC Plans Final Standards of Conduct Action by September 2019

November 9, 2018
The SEC’s Fall 2018 Regulatory Agenda makes clear that Chairman Jay Clayton is moving forward on one of his top priorities: adopting final standards of conduct rules and amendments by September 2019.

Read More

2018 Enforcement Numbers Top Previous Year

November 9, 2018
The SEC earlier this month issued the results of its fiscal year 2018 enforcement efforts – and the results show that the number of enforcement actions and total money collected topped those from fiscal year 2017. At the same time, Division of Enforcement officials continued to state that measuring enforcement success primarily though these kinds of metrics “cannot adequately measure the effectiveness of an enforcement program.”

Read More

Watchdog Wants SEC to Improve Management of Information and Data Sources

October 26, 2018
Better acquisition and management of subscription contracts, better controls over certain purchases of electronic information sources (EIS), and better monitoring and tracking of those sources and others – that’s what the SEC’s Office of the Inspector General recommended to the agency in a recent final audit report. The agency concurred and basically said that it will jump right on resolving the problems.

Read More

SEC’s Five-Year Strategic Plan Focuses on Retail Investors, Innovation and More

October 19, 2018
The SEC’s final Five-Year Strategic Plan for fiscal years 2018 through 2022 – much awaited by those who pay attention to agency priorities – is a slimmed-down version of SEC strategic plans from the previous five-year period. It bears the hallmarks of agency Chairman Jay Clayton’s stated aims to focus on retail investors, innovation and cybersecurity, among other areas, while retaining specific initiatives from past plans focusing on enforcement and examinations.

Read More