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FYI: OCIE Issues 2019 Exam Priorities

FYI: OCIE issued its 2019 exam priorities report, listing the following areas of focus for examinations in 2019:

1. Retail investors, including seniors and those saving for retirement:
–fees and expenses: disclosure of the costs of investing
–conflicts of interest
–senior investors and retirement accounts and products
–portfolio management and trading
–never-before or not recently-examined investment advisers
–mutual funds and exchange traded funds
–municipal advisors
–broker-dealers entrusted with customer assets
–microcap securities

2. Compliance and risk in registrants responsible for critical market infrastructure:
–clearing agencies
–entities subject to regulation systems compliance and integrity
–transfer agents
–national securities exchanges

3. Oversight of FINRA and MSRB

4. Digital assets

5. Cybersecurity

6. AML.

The report indicates that in 2019, many of OCIE’s priorities have changed as new risks have emerged and existing risks have heightened or been mitigated. However, the list does not seem to include any surprises and, indeed, appears in large measure to be a repeat of the priorities listed from last year.

Announcement, including summary of report: https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2018-299.

The full report is chock full of details, including examples of what the staff will be looking for under each of the categories listed above: https://www.sec.gov/files/OCIE%202019%20Priorities.pdf.

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