Last week, the SEC Division of Examinations issued a risk alert describing observations from recent examinations of investment advisers that manage and offer ESG investment options. The Risk Alert highlights observed deficiencies in several key areas that we expected the Staff to scrutinize using its traditional regulatory arsenal: advisers’ practices inconsistent with ESG disclosures, unsubstantiated
Robin M. Bergen
Turning the Page: Highlights of the SEC’s Division of Examination’s 2021 Priorities
On March 3, 2021, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Division of Examinations (the “Division”)—formerly the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations—released its 2021 Examination Priorities (“2021 Priorities”). The 2021 Priorities generally retain perennial risk areas as the Division’s core focus, but do include several new and emerging risk areas reflecting broader policy shifts under new SEC leadership.
The 2021 Priorities include: retail investors; information security and operational resilience; financial technology (“Fintech”), including digital assets; anti-money laundering; transition from the London Inter‑Bank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”); several areas covering registered investment advisers and investment companies; market infrastructure; and oversight of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board programs and policies. Although not formal priorities, the Division will also focus on climate-related risks and environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) matters in light of recent market developments and broader attention in these areas.
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SEC Releases Enforcement Division FY 2017 Annual Report: Shift in Tone and Likely Approach
On November 15, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission Division of Enforcement released its annual report detailing its priorities for the coming year and evaluating enforcement actions that occurred during Fiscal Year 2017. The Report captures the SEC during a period of transition and provides insight into changes in the SEC’s approach to enforcement actions…