During recent months the SEC has made a number of announcements regarding its efforts to enhance and expand its oversight and inspections of registered investment companies and investment advisers. Of significance in this regard was the announcement of plans to hire additional examiners and reassign some existing examiners to expand the staff available for inspections of these registrants.
Now the SEC has announced the creation of a new Office of Risk and Strategy (ORS) within OCIE (the Office of Compliance, Inspections, and Examinations) to enhance the inspection process. Peter B. Driscoll, formerly an attorney in both the Division of Enforcement and in OCIE will head the new office. Although still in a formative state, it is expected that the ORS will provide coordination to the national inspection process for investment adviser/investment company registrants that is conducted through the regional offices, guided by a staff in Washington, D.C. However, ORS also will attempt to develop new tools that will provide a risk-based focus that will guide the inspection planning and execution process. This is similar to previous efforts by the Division of Enforcement and the Division of Trading and Markets to develop data-driven and risk-based tools that will allow the SEC to get the most “bang for the buck” from its limited resources.