In testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Services, SEC Chair Jay Clayton outlined priorities for the agency and reviewed recent accomplishments.
Mr. Clayton outlined three key priorities of the SEC: (i) aiding Main Street investors, (ii) being “innovative, responsive and resilient to developments and trends in the markets,” and (iii) improving the performance and management of internal resources and risks through “technology, data analytics and human capital.” These priorities are reflected in the SEC’s Draft Strategic Plan for FY 2018-2022.
Mr. Clayton highlighted notable accomplishments of the SEC since releasing the Fall 2017 Agenda, such as:
- facilitating capital formation and investment opportunities by (i) simplifying the public capital-raising process, (ii) improving public company disclosure and (iii) monitoring exempt offerings and small-business initiatives;
- working to correct the SEC’s cybersecurity deficiencies;
- initiating rulemaking proceedings to enhance and clarify the standards of conduct for broker-dealers and investment advisers;
- clarifying the application of federal securities laws to digital assets and initial coin offerings;
- returning a record $1.07 billion to defrauded investors through enforcement actions;
- monitoring areas that present increased risks for investors;
- addressing equity market structure issues by (i) proposing a transaction fee pilot in National Market System stocks and (ii) conducting the first SEC roundtable on thinly-traded exchange-listed securities;
- establishing the Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee to analyze fixed-income markets;
- progressing toward implementation of the Consolidated Audit Trail;
- collaborating with the CFTC to harmonize rules governing security-based swaps;
- improving investor experience by (i) issuing a request for comments on enhancing disclosure by mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and other investment companies, and (ii) adopting a rule to create an optional “notice and access” method for delivering fund shareholder reports;
- modernizing asset management regulations by (i) working to replace the process of individually-issued exemptive relief for certain exchange-traded funds, (ii) issuing proposed rules, in furtherance of the mandate of the Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2017, (iii) issuing proposed amendments to the liquidity reporting rules for open-end funds and (iv) revising certain securities-offering and proxy rules to allow business development companies to be treated like public corporate issuers;
- completing rules mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act; and
- educating Main Street investors and creating tools to assist them in making informed investment decisions.