SEC creates new office to help oversee financial advisers

Unit will develop 'new tools and techniques' to strengthen risk analysis and surveillance

Mar 8, 2016 @ 4:44 pm

By Christine Idzelis

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has created a new office to help strengthen the regulator's scrutiny of financial advisers.

Peter Driscoll will lead the Office of Risk and Strategy and manage a staff in Washington that examines investment advisers and mutual funds, according to an SEC statement Tuesday. Mr. Driscoll said he plans to advance the development of “new tools and techniques” that strengthen the risk analysis and surveillance conducted by the agency's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations.

The OCIE conducts examinations of SEC-registered investment advisers to help ensure compliance with U.S. securities laws and prevent fraud. The agency, which annually examines about 10% of the more than 11,500 registered investment advisers it oversees, has been looking at ways to boost its oversight of RIAs.

The SEC plans to increase its number of RIA examiners by almost 20% this year to 630, according to a person familiar with the initiative. It's also taking steps to allow third-party examiners to supplement the work conducted by the OCIE.

The OCIE analyzes data from registration forms and other sources to help target advisers that merit examinations.

Mr. Driscoll, who started at the SEC in 2001 as a staff attorney in the agency's Division of Enforcement, has been a managing executive with the OCIE since 2013, according to the statement.

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