The Division’s 2022 Priorities outline an ambitious agenda that ranges across virtually the entire securities marketplace and closely track Chair Gensler’s well-established priorities involving private funds, fintech, and cybersecurity. Accordingly, registrants should take steps to plan for heightened examination activity in the year to come:
- RIAs to private funds should brace for increased examination scrutiny, which we expect to return to activity and referral levels (and, ultimately, enforcement actions) seen in the aftermath of Dodd-Frank and during the Obama Administration.
- All registrants should prepare for granular examinations in which firms’ ESG and cybersecurity operational risk disclosures, practices, and policies and procedures will be scrutinized, given the SEC’s laser focus on ESG and cybersecurity risks, including through its proposed rulemakings.
- Registrants with a retail investor base should expect examinations that focus squarely on investor disclosures and compliance with applicable standards of care.
- Finally, the Division has also clearly established that evergreen topics such as broker-dealer operational compliance will remain on the examination agenda.
We expect an extremely active year for EXAMS as it executes upon this broad roadmap for 2022.