Chair White Addresses SEC Speaks Conference.
On February 21st, Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") Chair Mary Jo White noted, among other things, the 2014 priorities of the SEC's divisions. The Division of Corporation Finance will be reviewing public company disclosures; the Division of Investment Management will consider expanded stress testing, robust data reporting, and increased oversight of the largest asset management firms; and the Office of Risk Assessment and Surveillance is developing new technologies to cull additional red flags from internal and external data and information sources. The agency will also implement a pilot program to test tick sizes that would widen the quoting and trading increments for stock prices and test whether such a change improves liquidity and market quality. White Remarks.
On February 21st, Reuters summarized the remarks of SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar concerning the cybersecurity risks faced by transfer agents. Transferring Risk.
OCIE to Focus on Never-Before-Examined Advisers.
On February 20th, the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations launched an initiative directed at investment advisers who have been registered with the SEC for at least three years but have never been examined. These examinations will concentrate on the advisers' compliance programs, filings and disclosure, marketing, portfolio management, and safekeeping of client assets. SEC Press Release; Industry Letter.
SEC Files Dodd-Frank Act Whistleblower Amicus Brief.
On February 20th, the SEC filed an amicus brief with the Second Circuit in a Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower lawsuit. The SEC contends that its rule which interprets the Dodd-Frank Act's anti-retaliation protections to include any individual who engages in the whistleblowing activities described by the Act, irrespective of whether the individual makes a separate report to the Commission, is entitled to deference.
The SEC will host a roundtable on March 26, 2014 to discuss cybersecurity and the issues and challenges it raises for market participants and public companies. SEC Press Release.
The SEC announced that Elizabeth Murphy has been named an associate director in its Division of Corporation Finance; Sharon Binger has been named director of the Philadelphia Regional Office, where she will oversee enforcement and examinations in the Mid-Atlantic region; Stephen Luparello has been named director of the Division of Trading and Markets, and John Ramsay, acting director of the Division of Trading and Markets, will leave the agency next month.