Now that 2014 is here, it is a good idea to understand what the Enforcement Division might focus on this year. In a recent article that appeared in the BNA, David Marder, a partner with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi identified fifteen things to expect in the coming year.
The fifteen things he noted to expect include:
- Increased use of whistle-blowers;
- Increase requiring defendants admit guilt in settlements;
- Increasing the use of available technology;
- Increase the number of easier to prove cases;
- Push self-reporting of securities violations;
- Increased focus on microcaps;
- Continued focus on gatekeepers;
- An emphasis on financial reporting;
- Protection of market structure and integrity;
- Increase the activity of specialized SEC units;
- Continue attacking insider trading;
- Investigate misconduct at hedge funds, private equity funds and mutual funds;
- Increase the size of the trial unit to avoid losing at trial;
- To further leverage the exam program; and
- Increase administrative proceedings.
Although this certainly seems like a robust agenda, expect the SEC under the leadership of Chair Mary Jo White to pursue it with particular vigor.
It seems like the SEC has a lot to prove; in part, to justify it budget. The question is whether the industry is adequately prepared to deal with a bulked up and more aggressive SEC. Time will tell . . . .