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SEC Division of Examinations Announces 2023 Exam Priorities

By Robert R. Boeche, Partner, Robert D. Conca, Partner, and Andrew R. Steiger, Associate Attorney of Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. posted on Tuesday, April 11, 2023.

On February 7, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Examinations (“DOE”), formerly the Office of Compliance Investigations and Examinations (“OCIE”), announced its annual exam priorities.  DOE Director Richard R. Best said, “[w]e will emphasize compliance with new SEC rules applicable to investment advisers and investment companies as well as continue our focus on emerging issues and rules aimed at protecting retail investors.” 

The DOE’s 2023 annual exam priorities report discusses how it intends to prioritize examinations for the coming year.[1]  A selection of hot exam topics follows:

  • Compliance with New Marketing Rule for Registered Investment Advisers.  See our previous blog on this topic for more.

  • Compliance with Regulation Best Interest.  The DOE recently released a risk alert on this topic including their observations.  See our previous blog on this topic for more.

  • Retail Investor protection issues, including RIA and broker-dealer standards of conduct, management of conflicts of interest, how firms consider retail investors’ investment goals and account characteristics when making a recommendation, and others.

  • Advisers Act issues, including compliance programs, fees and expenses, custody, conflicts of interest, fiduciary duties, risk management, and others.

Neither the above list nor the DOE’s published list of exam priorities are exhaustive.  Exams may include other topics relating to an entity’s history, operations, services and product offerings, and other risk factors.  As such, each entity regulated by the SEC should ensure their compliance program is up to date, and that their real-world operations match their policies and procedures.

Shustak Reynolds & Partners, P.C. focuses its practice on securities and financial services law and complex business disputes.
We represent many investment advisers, IARs, broker-dealers, registered representatives, and businesses.
Attorneys Robert R. Boeche, Robert D. Conca, and Andrew R. Steiger
can be reached in the firm’s San Diego office at (619) 696-9500.

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