Numerous high-profile enforcement actions show that many advisors continue to sidestep their compliance obligations -- and they show where the SEC will be looking for future breaches.

The SEC's top enforcement priorities this year are aimed at increasing market transparency and strengthening industry compliance; they include fraud prevention, corporate governance, enterprise risk management and technology controls. With most Americans accessing the securities markets through investment advisors and mutual funds, the SEC put investment companies and advisors at the top of its watch list. The SEC is particularly concerned with repeat offenders as well as investment advisors who have never been previously examined.

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