Heads up, advisors: The SEC is zeroing in on you.
The agency will "intensify" its focus on the role of financial advisors in 2014, agency chairwoman Mary Jo White emphasized in a speech Friday morning.
"In 2014, ... we also will intensify our consideration of the question of the role and duties of investment advisers and broker dealers, with the goal of enhancing investor protection," said White during her welcoming remarks at the SEC Speaks 2014 conference in Washington.
She cited greater focus on broker-dealers as well. "We will also increase our oversight of broker-dealers with initiatives that will strengthen and enhance their capital and liquidity, as well as providing more robust protections and safeguards for customer assets," she said in prepared remarks.
The investment advisory industry has taken notice of White's efforts since she took over as SEC chairwoman in April 2013, says Les Abromovitz, a senior consultant with National Compliance Services.
"She has made it clear to advisors that she will be wielding a big stick and won't be afraid to refer matters to the enforcement division," says Abromovitz, who has authored two books on compliance for investment advisors. "I have been very impressed with the way she has handled her job so far."
White's speech came a day after her agency announced details of its "Never Before Examined Imitative" aimed at targeting unexamined advisors that have been registered with the SEC for three or more years.
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