January 17, 2017: The SEC recently announced 2017 exam priorities with an expansion of 2016 exam priorities to include electronic investment advice (aka “robo-advisers”) and a continuation of the ongoing effort to protect senior investors as the Commission continues to focus upon products and sales practices which target senior investors.
The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) retains primary responsibility along with the Asset Management Unit for examining federally registered investment advisers which include separate account managers, as well as hedge fund and private equity managers. Additionally, the OCIE examines and inspects investment companies, broker-dealers, transfer agents, clearing agencies, private fund advisers, national securities exchanges, and municipal advisors.
The 2017 priorities also reflect a continuing focus on protecting retail investors, including individuals investing for their retirement, and assessing systemic macro risks posed by products and or business practices. In the words of outgoing Chair Mary Jo White: “These priorities make clear we are continuing to focus on a wide range of issues impacting our markets, from traditional areas such as market-wide risks to new forms of technology including automated investment advice. Whether it is protecting our most vulnerable senior investors or those investing in the trillion-dollar money market fund industry, OCIE continues its efficient and effective risk-based approach to ensure compliance with our nation’s securities laws.” Read More