SEC Sets Expectations for Investment Firms in 2019

SEC Sets Expectations for Investment Firms in 2019
April 8, 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.

You can read the official comments from Commissioner Elad Roisman, but here are a few takeaways from the speech by Dalia Blass, Director of the Division of Investment Management at the SEC.

  • 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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Arthy Kumar

About the author

Arthy Kumar, Director of Product Marketing at Workiva, oversees the investments industry. She works exclusively with financial services companies and focuses on mutual funds, annuities, asset management, life insurance, and other investment reporting and compliance. Prior to joining Workiva in 2012, Arthy spent 14 years at Vanguard and MetLife holding positions in financial planning, investment portfolio analysis, relationship management, and people management. She is a certified financial planner (CFP) and a chartered financial consultant (ChFC).