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By Gontran de Quillacq
On March 8, 2021

The SEC’s new priorities: climate, seniors, cryptos & fintechs

CompassThe SEC has released its new sets of priorities for 2021. Here they are.

  • Climate & ESG risks, disclosures and policies will be the focus #1.
  • Retail investors, seniors, retirement savors: Reg BI and Fiduciary Duty compliance
  • Information Security & Operational Resiliency: disaster recovery plans, especially for SIFI companies, data security.
  • FinTechs, innovation and digital assets: compliance, trading applications & practices.
  • AML
  • LIBOR transition
  • for IA and investment companies:
    • Compliance programs, ESG factors, open-end funds & ETFs, adequacy of disclosures, false advertisement
    • registered funds (mutual & ETFs): disclosures, valuation, filings, personal trading, contracts & agreements, fee waivers, actively managed ETFs, securities lending practices.
    • RIAs to private funds: disclosures, concentration in structured products (CLOs, MBS…), default risk.
  • broker-dealers and municipal advisors: customer protection rule, net capital rule, order routing and rule 606 (Robinhood!)
  • Market infrastructure
    • Clearing agencies
    • national securities exchanges
    • Systems, Compliance & Integrity procedures: IT governance, cyber threats, business continuity, vendor management, cloud services.
    • Transfer agents
    • FINRA & MSRB: oversight of BDs and advisors.


A few comments:

  • You can see that the election had some impact, notably through the focus on climate & ESG, retail & seniors (Reg BI) and FinTechs.
  • Gary Gensler is a specialist of cryptocurrencies, with a well-rounded background.
  • These priorities probably explain why our friends at CoinSeed suddenly had some regulatory focus.
  • Hard also to avoid the elephant in the room (Robinhood) as well – see our articles below.

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