The Securities and Exchange Commission Is Empowering Their Enforcement Staff To Take Immediate Swift Actions To Combat Emerging Potential Problems

By Jack Kelly

Former President Trump isn’t a fan of regulations.* During his campaign for the Presidency in 2016, Trump was clear in promising a clampdown on regulations, saying for every one newly proposed rule two regulations would have to be ripped-up. 

He believed that rules stood in the way of businesses succeeding. According to The Wall Street Journal, the data shows that his administration wasn’t too concerned about The Securities and Exchange Commission vigorously investigating matters writing “The number of new investigations fell every year during the Trump administration, from 1,063 in 2016 to 827 in 2019,” and the number of completed enforcement actions by the SEC “fell from 548 in 2016 to 405 in 2020.” 

President Joe Biden seems to have a more robust regulatory plan in mind. The WSJ reported that the SEC “will give more power to its enforcement staff to launch investigations,” which indicates “an early sign that it plans to become more assertive under the Biden administration.”

The SEC will permit “enforcement supervisors to authorize investigations, permitting about 36 senior officials at the agency to subpoena companies and individuals for records or testimony.”  

SEC acting Chair Allison Herren Lee said Tuesday  “Returning this authority to the division’s experienced senior officers, who have a proven track record of executing it prudently, helps to ensure that investigative staff can work effectively to protect investors.”

This new measure will enable the regulatory agency to move more quickly when they notice possible violations of rules, regulations, and laws. It’s also believed that the new SEC chair, Gary Gensler, will be “more active in looking for misconduct and fraud at big financial institutions.” 

This will be good news for compliance, legal, risk, audit, anti-money laundering, and related regulatory-oriented professionals. The anticipated renewed vigor and regulatory activism will likely spur an increase in the hiring of professionals in this sector. Prior to Trump’s administration, under President Obama, Compliance was a blazing hot area for jobs. It cooled off under Trump and now is positioned to become great again.

*Please, please note: this is not about politics. The thesis is based on an analysis of the different platforms put for by the respective presidents and the potential impact on jobs in this area.

In full disclosure, I’m neither a Democrat nor Republican and lean towards Libertarianism. Running an Executive Search firm focused on hiring Compliance professionals, I admittedly have a big bias. Additionally, as Libertarians are generally not pro-big government involvement in the business dealing of companies, I’m somewhat of a hypocrite too. How often do you read this type of admission in a news outlet? This is our way of being truly transparent and not BSing our readers.

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