The SEC has announced its examination priorities for 2014, which cover a wide range of issues at financial institutions, including investment advisers and investment companies, broker-dealers, clearing agencies, exchanges and other self-regulatory organizations, hedge funds, private equity funds, and transfer agents.
The staff will continue the 2012 initiative to examine a significant percentage of the advisers registered since the effective date of Section 402 of the Dodd-Frank Act. The five key focus areas of these examinations are marketing, portfolio management, conflicts of interest, safety of client assets, and valuation. The vast majority of these new registrants are advisers to hedge funds and private equity funds that were not registered or regulated by the SEC prior to the Dodd-Frank Act, and have never been examined by the SEC. The staff will also continue to prioritize examinations of private fund advisers where the staff’s analytics indicate higher risks to investors, or where there are indicia of fraud, broker-dealer status concerns, or other serious wrongdoing.