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SEC's 6 Compliance Exam Priorities for RIAs in 2019

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The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the 2019 examination priorities for compliance examinations and inspections late Thursday. Next year, according to the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, emphasis will be put on digital assets, cybersecurity and investor issues like fees, expenses and conflicts of interest.   

“OCIE continues to thoughtfully approach its examination program, leveraging technology and the SEC staff’s industry expertise,” according to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.  “As these examination priorities show, OCIE will maintain its focus on critical market infrastructure and Main Street investors in 2019.”

The SEC says that these priorities “are not exhaustive and will not be the only issues OCIE addresses” in its examinations, Risk Alerts and and outreach programs.

OCIE is responsible for conducting exams of entities registered with the SEC, including more than 13,200 investment advisers, about 10,000 mutual funds and exchange traded funds, some 3,800 broker-dealers, about 330 transfer agents, seven active clearing agencies, 21 national securities exchanges, nearly 600 municipal advisors, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board and several other entities.

“OCIE is steadfast in its commitment to protect investors, ensure market integrity and support responsible capital formation through risk-focused strategies that improve compliance, prevent fraud, monitor risk, and inform policy,” said OCIE Director Pete Driscoll, in a statement.

“We believe our ongoing efforts to improve risk assessment and maintain an open dialogue with market participants advance these goals to the benefit of investors and the U.S. capital markets,” he added.

Check out the gallery for a look at what SEC examiners will have their eyes on in 2019.

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