Speeches Outline the Ethos, Direction and Priorities of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement Under Gurbir Grewal

There have been plenty of opportunities to speculate about the potential approach and focus of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement (Enforcement) given that it has taken some time for the new Director, Gurbir S. Grewal, to take office. Grewal has now signaled the direction of Enforcement’s efforts in two recent speeches, which highlight the public’s flailing trust in the securities markets and outline certain steps Enforcement will be taking to enhance investors’ confidence. Grewal delivered a first speech in which he emphasized proactive compliance, cooperation with the SEC and the imposition of meaningful penalties as key paths toward boosting public trust. A week later, Grewal offered additional remarks reiterating the importance of restoring investor confidence and identifying corporate responsibility, gatekeeper accountability and appropriate remedies as focus areas for Enforcement’s efforts. This article summarizes the key takeaways from Grewal’s statements. For coverage of recent speeches from SEC Commissioners, see our two-part series: “Peirce and Roisman Argue Against Prescriptive ESG Disclosures” (Oct. 21, 2021); and “Gensler and Lee Advocate Further SEC Oversight of ESG Efforts” (Oct. 28, 2021).

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