A major focus of asset managers continues to be environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors. In response to investor and regulatory demands, ESG considerations and related-disclosures figure more prominently in investment strategies and investment vehicles. To help you make sense of it all attend ESG Considerations for Asset Managers.
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SEC’s Division of Examinations 2023 Priorities
The SEC’s Division of Examinations recently released its Examinations Priorities 2023 report. In fiscal year 2022, they examined approximately 15% of the registered investment adviser population, and over 360 broker-dealers examinations, and, together with FINRA, they examined nearly half of the approximately 3,500 registered broker-dealers in fiscal year 2022. They continue to focus on their “four pillars”: (1) promote compliance; (2) prevent fraud; (3) monitor risk; and (4) inform policy.
ACA’s take on the priorities can be found here.
SEC’s 2022 Investor Advocate Report
SEC regulatory lawyers will want to note the recent filing of the 2022 Investor Advocate Report. The Investor Advocate is an advisory arm of the SEC looking out for the interests of retail investors, but it doesn’t engage in SEC rulemaking. A few things in the Report jump out. First, a statement that suggests the Investor Advocate wants to see more before weighing in on the effectiveness of Regulation Best Interest. Also, the Report includes a table of certain potentially problematic products, practices and trends broken down by regulator: These include performance claims and social media (SEC); Finfuencers and Reassigned Advisory Accounts (NASAA) and Financial Literacy Declines (FINRA). Here is a link to the full report: FY22 OIAD SAR Activities Report (sec.gov)