On January 12, 2017, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) released its 2017 Examination Priorities. In addition to the areas of focus provided below, OCIE expects to allocate resources to the examination of private fund advisers, municipal advisers and transfer agents.
I. Protecting Retail Investors – OCIE will pursue examination initiatives to assess potential risks to retail investors, including:
- Firms that provide investment advice through automated or digital platforms, including “robo-advisers”;
- wrap fee programs;
- exchange-traded funds;
- never-before examined investment advisers;
- recidivist representatives and their employers;
- multi-branch advisers and
- share class selection.
II. Senior Investors and Retirement Investments – OCIE will devote increased attention to issues affecting senior investors and those investing for retirement, including its ReTIRE (“Retirement-Targeted Industry Reviews and Examinations”) initiative; public pension advisers and senior investors.
III. Assessing Market-Wide Risks – OCIE will examine for structural risks and trends that may involve multiple firms or entire industries, including:
- money market funds;
- payment for order flow;
- clearing agencies;
- regulation systems compliance and integrity (“SCI”);
- national securities exchanges and
- anti-money laundering programs of broker-dealers.
OCIE’s 2017 Exam Priorities are available here.