On April 19, 2016, Mary Jo White, Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, delivered opening remarks at the SEC's 2016 Compliance Outreach Program for Investment Advisers and Investment Company Senior Officers. Chair White re-emphasized the critical importance of protecting investors and the integrity of markets. She pointed out that both investors and the SEC rely on firms to establish "strong, comprehensive and effective compliance programs and cultures." To address the significant growth in the industry to $66.8 trillion in assets under management, Chair White noted that the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) is in the process of transitioning some staff from broker-dealer exams to investment adviser exams, in addition to adding more staff. She further commented that compliance is the "first line of defense for investors in our markets," and interestingly observed that "[y]ou can draw on external assistance, but you cannot outsource your obligations." Chair White closed in saying that the SEC wants to "see firms foster an environment in which every individual, at every level, understands the importance of the compliance program and believes in the compliance culture."

To read the complete remarks of Chair White, click here.