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Despite Headwinds, Enforcement Remains Strong, Notes Co-Director of SEC Enforcement Division

In a recent speech, Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement (Division), assessed the Division’s effectiveness and impact over the prior fiscal year. Avakian argued that the Division’s performance should be measured by the quality – not the number or penalties – of the enforcement actions it has brought, and by that measure, this fiscal year has been successful for the regulator, despite staff vacancies and other challenges. Her remarks provide fund managers with valuable insight into the Division’s goals in pursuing enforcement actions; outline the Division’s areas of focus; and illuminate the Division’s treatment of cryptocurrency and initial coin offerings, as well as the recently announced Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative. This article highlights the key points from her speech most relevant to fund managers. For further commentary from Avakian, see our two-part series “SEC Officials Flesh Out Cybersecurity Enforcement and Examination Priorities” (May 11, 2017); and “SEC Officials Discuss Cybersecurity Examination Priorities and Provide Guidance on When to Disclose Cyber Events” (May 18, 2017).

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