Earlier this week, the SEC released the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations’ (OCIE) 2016 priorities. Addressing issues affecting numerous financial institutions, including hedge fund managers and other investment advisers; investment companies; broker-dealers; transfer agents; and clearing agencies, OCIE’s announcement revealed new areas of focus, including liquidity controls, public pension advisers, product promotion, exchange-traded funds and variable annuities. The priorities also confirm the SEC’s emphasis on cybersecurity and fees. “These new areas of focus are extremely important to investors and financial institutions across the spectrum,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White in a press release announcing the priorities. “Through information sharing and conducting comprehensive examinations, OCIE continues to promote compliance with the federal securities laws to better protect investors and our markets.” Echoing White’s emphasis on compliance, OCIE Director Marc Wyatt expressed “hope that registrants will use this information to inform the evaluation of their own compliance programs in these key areas.” This article summarizes OCIE’s list of priorities for 2016. For more on OCIE priorities, see “SEC’s Rozenblit Discusses Operations and Priorities of the Private Funds Unit
” (Sep. 24, 2015); and “ACA Compliance Professionals and SEC Veteran John H. Walsh Share Insights on SEC Priorities for 2015
” (Apr. 23, 2015).