The House Appropriations Committee plans to mark up on Wednesday its fiscal year 2015 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Bill, which includes President Barack Obama’s 2015 budget proposal giving the Securities and Exchange Commission $1.7 billion, a 26% boost from the agency’s 2014 enacted level.
Obama’s budget would allow the agency to add 316 staffers to the agency’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, with 240 of those examiners devoted solely to overseeing advisors.
SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White told lawmakers in late April that the SEC’s 2015 budget request “would permit the SEC to increase its examination coverage of investment advisors, who everyday investors are increasingly turning to for investment assistance with retirement and family needs.”
White gave the lawmakers stark statistics about the limited number of examiners the agency has to oversee advisors.
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White underscored the importance of boosting the number of advisor exams, stating that from fiscal 2001 to fiscal 2014, advisors’ assets under management jumped almost 200% to $55 trillion. In 2004, she said, the SEC “had 19 examiners per trillion dollars in investment advisor assets under management. Today, we have only eight.”
Advisors lobbied Congress on Thursday to support the Investment Adviser Examination Improvement Act of 2013, which would allow the SEC to collect fees from advisor to fund their exams. Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., sponsored the bill.