The Securities and Exchange Commission is “giving special attention” and devoting separate agency staff to crowdfunding-related initiatives set in motion by the JOBS Act, and is in full swing in implementing exams targeting retirement planning and ETFs.
The SEC’s enforcement division as well as other agency divisions, including the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis, is “taking a close look” at Rule 506(c) private as well as Reg A+ offerings under the JOBS Act, Vincente Martinez, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Office of Market Intelligence, said at the IA Watch compliance summit in Washington Friday.
Martinez said that the industry will have a “learning curve” when getting up to speed with the capital raising measures under the JOBS Act, especially crowdfunding.
SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said during a recent discussion that in relation to the SEC’s lifting of the ban on general solicitation under Rule 506(c) private offerings, “on the fraud/misconduct front,” the SEC has “some open investigations in several categories.”
Renee Esfandiary, assistant director of the SEC’s National Exam Program, said at the conference that the agency’s examiners are continuing their multiyear initiative dubbed ReTIRE, launched last June, which focuses on SEC-registered investment advisors and broker-dealers and the services they offer to investors with retirement accounts.
The ReTIRE exams focus on the “reasonable basis” for recommendations made to investors, conflicts of interest, supervision and compliance controls, and marketing and disclosure practices.