What the Record Number of 2016 SEC and FINRA Enforcement Actions Indicates About the Regulators’ Possible Enforcement Focus for 2017

SEC and FINRA enforcement efforts ramped up in 2016, with each regulator achieving a record number of enforcement actions and fines. A recent program presented by compliance solutions provider MyComplianceOffice (MCO) looked at how SEC and FINRA enforcement efforts in 2016 compared with prior years, while also speculating on the level of enforcement fund managers may be able to expect under the Trump administration. The program was hosted by Joseph Boyhan, an MCO marketing executive, and Shane McGonigle, MCO’s chief customer officer, and featured Sutherland Asbill & Brennan partner Brian L. Rubin, who is a former NASD Deputy Chief Counsel of Enforcement and SEC Senior Enforcement Counsel, and associate Adam C. Pollet. This article summarizes the speakers’ principal insights. For additional commentary from Sutherland attorneys, see “Current and Former Regulators Advise Hedge Fund Managers on How to Prepare for SEC Exams” (Feb. 18, 2016); and our two-part series on IRS audits of private fund partnerships: “Current Regulations” (Apr. 21, 2016); and “Revised Regulations” (Apr. 28, 2016). For coverage of another recent MCO presentation, see “Practical Guidance From Former SEC Examiners on Preparing for and Surviving SEC Examinations” (Sep. 1, 2016).

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