SEC Sets Expectations for Investment Firms in 2019
The Securities and Exchange Commission was part of several sessions at the ICI Mutual Funds and Investment Conference in mid-March, with representatives delivering comments that gave investment providers a look at what's ahead for 2019.
- On the SEC's review of public comments on investment company disclosures and variable annuity disclosures: "Some preliminary areas of focus for that work are exploring options for a summary shareholder report and ways to improve fee and risk disclosure," said Blass.
- The commission's Board Outreach Initiative is continuing, and she expects a next step to be recommendations to guidance for valuation of assets.
- As funds increase participation in areas where banks and brokerage firms typically play, the SEC plans to engage with the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and Financial Stability Board (FSB) to provide a U.S. perspective on the potential vulnerabilities posed by nonbank finance.
- As asset managers prepare for emerging risks, she is on the side of not automatically rewriting policy. She is supportive of easing compliance in the right circumstances but wants to clearly understand the costs and benefits of changes that would significantly affect the products investors rely on or the business of managers.
- Watch for SEC staff to reach out to small- and mid-sized fund sponsors for feedback on how to address regulatory barriers that make it harder for them to compete against fund managers with larger scale.
- The SEC is considering forming an asset management advisory committee to discuss trending topics as they arise.
Blass packed a lot more into her speech, which also touched on proxy advisors, fund research reports, and exchange-traded funds and fund of funds rules.
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About the Author
Arthy Kumar is the Director of Product Marketing and Financial Services Industry Principal at Workiva. She drives the go-to-market strategy, execution, and success of reporting and compliance solutions for banking, investment, and insurance companies. Arthy’s previous roles at Workiva include Director of Program Management for Investments and Subject Matter Expert. Before joining Workiva in 2012, Arthy spent 14 years at Vanguard and MetLife. Her experience includes financial planning, portfolio analysis, relationship management of large institutional clients, and people management. She is a CFP® (Certified Financial PlannerTM) professional and a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC).