Mary Schapiro, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), recently talked with AdvisorOne Washington Bureau Chief Melanie Waddell about a broad range of issues, including how the agency’s new Whistleblower office is coming along, as well as an issue that seems to have fallen off of the radar, but nonetheless remains near and dear to every advisor’s heart: revisions to mutual fund distribution fees under Rule 12b-1.
The SEC created the Whistleblower office after Dodd-Frank mandated that the SEC pay rewards to individuals who voluntarily provide the Commission with original information that leads to successful SEC enforcement actions and certain related actions. The comment period on the proposed set of rules that the SEC will use to implement the whistleblower program expired on Dec. 17, 2010.
Schapiro told AdvisorOne that the agency is now “finalizing” its whistleblower rules. Since creating the whistleblower office, the SEC has seen a “significant increase in high-quality tips,” according to SEC spokesman John Nester.
Waddell: How’s the whistleblower office coming along?
Schapiro: Our whistleblower authority will help us maximize our resources and our effectiveness by increasing the high-quality tips that we might not otherwise receive, which I think are important to effective enforcement. We’ve hired a terrific new director of that office, Sean McKessy, and we are finalizing the [whisteblower] rules and have gotten lots and lots of comments all over the board on the whistleblower rules. I think it’s headed in the right direction.
Waddell: Have you gotten a lot of tips since creating the Whistleblower office?