On February 3, the SEC released a draft 2014-2018 Strategic Plan. The draft sets forth the SEC’s mission, vision, values, strategic goals, planned initiatives and performance goals for the years ahead. While the Strategic Plan has a broad focus and is subject to change, there are a few items of interest for readers of this publication.
The SEC’s Strategic Objective 1.2 is to promote “capital markets that operate in a fair, efficient, transparent, and competitive manner, fostering capital formation and innovation.” As part of this objective, the SEC plans to implement initiatives that include enhancing the oversight of derivatives by working with the CFTC and foreign regulators, and considering streamlining the process for introducing new exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by allowing certain ETFs to be introduced to the market without the need for an exemptive order.
Strategic Objective 3.1 is to work “to ensure that investors have access to high-quality disclosure materials that facilitate informed investment decision-making.” The SEC plans to design and implement new disclosure regimes for certain specialized categories of issuers so that investors in these products have relevant and useful information with which to make informed investment decisions. These changes would include enhanced disclosure requirements for “securitized products and other complex financial instruments,” as well as variable annuities and target date retirement funds.