Understanding the Wells Process: SEC Enforcement Staff Views of the Process (Part Two of Three)

Despite their standard disclaimer that the views they express are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the SEC or its staff, the personal views expressed by SEC employees provide valuable insight for fund managers on the regulator’s inner workings. For example, a 2018 speech by Steven Peikin, Co‑Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division (Enforcement), spelled out his view of the Wells process. Peikin’s speech provides suggestions for successfully navigating this process for the subjects of SEC investigations. In addition, other Enforcement staff provided tips for Wells submissions and Wells meetings at a recent conference. This three-part series demystifies the Wells process – and the pre-Wells process – for fund managers. This second article examines the views of members of Enforcement on the Wells process. The first article discussed the origins of the Wells process and its key elements, as well as the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act. The third article will explain the increasingly important pre-Wells notice process and the key steps of the process overall, including ways for a manager to determine whether to offer a Wells submission in response to a Wells notice. For coverage of another speech by Peikin, see “What Remedies and Relief Can Fund Managers Expect in SEC Enforcement Actions?” (Jan. 10, 2019).

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