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The SEC Speaks: Reflections and Enforcement Initiatives in 2013

Posted in Enforcement

When the SEC talks, people listen. And securities enforcement professions look forward all year to listening to the Commissioners and the SEC’s senior leadership speak at The SEC Speaks conference.

In particular, discussions about the Division of Enforcement’s trends and priorities ranks as one of the most anticipated panels at the conference. This year, uncertainty about the SEC’s leadership kept the Division’s senior staff members from providing too many specifics about long-term plans. Nevertheless, they made clear that aggressive enforcement would continue in 2013, against entities and individuals alike.

The staff highlighted several focus areas: Whistleblowers and cooperators; financial fraud and disclosure; the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA); insider trading; asset management; evolving bases for liability; and choices of forums for litigation. In a nutshell, the staff said that they hope to improve the quality and speed of cases by leveraging the wave of tips coming in under the SEC’s new whistleblower program, and through the assistance of “insiders” who participate in the Division’s cooperation program. The Division plans to refocus on financial fraud and disclosure matters, an area that has not been in the spotlight of late, and to continue pursuing FCPA violations and insider trading, both areas directly in the spotlight of late. The staff also emphasized violations involving mutual funds and private equity in the asset management area. Finally, the staff said that they plan to more actively explore secondary liability and the use of administrative proceedings in 2013.

Read more about these important enforcement trends here. We listened, and took notes!