When asked what challenges come with being the sole director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s most high-profile division, Andrew Ceresney cited keeping pace with the “increased complexity of the misconduct” the enforcement division sees as it relates to products, the markets and “schemes.”
“Over time as matters have become more complex, we’ve been bringing on more industry experts, and we’ve gotten smarter about using technology,” Ceresney told IA in April. The division is dealing with “very complicated schemes where people are engaging in conduct that’s hard to unravel but we do it through hard work, smarts and the use of technology.”
In the SEC’s last fiscal year, the enforcement division, which includes roughly 1,300 employees nationwide, brought almost 700 cases and obtained orders for penalties and disgorgements of ill-gotten gains totaling $3.4 billion.
Ceresney said the division is also “litigating more cases,” specifically bringing cases that “are built to litigate.” However, Ceresney noted that the funding boost for the SEC under President Obama’s 2015 budget would help the division handle more complex cases. Financial reporting cases, for instance, “take a lot of time to investigate and you often have significant amounts of data to review.”