SEC previews strategic goals: supporting Main Street investors, greater flexibility, enhanced support

Category: Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC

SEC previews strategic goals: supporting Main Street investors, greater flexibility, enhanced support


Earlier this month, the Securities and Exchange Commission published for public comment a draft strategic plan which highlights the SEC’s priorities through fiscal year 2022.

The plan identified three strategic goals related to investors, innovation and SEC performance. According to the SEC’s press release, “the plan highlights the SEC’s commitment to serving the long-term interest of Main Street investors; becoming more innovative, responsive and resilient to market developments and trends; and leveraging staff expertise, data and analytics to bolster performance.”

The first goal  is to “focus on the long-term interest of our Main Street investors.”

To help advance this goal, the SEC spotlights five initiatives.

Those initiatives included: 

  1. Enhancing the SEC's understanding of the channels that retail and institutional investors use to access capital markets to more effectively tailor policy initiatives;
  2. Enhancing the SEC’s outreach, education and consultation efforts, including in ways that are reflective of the diversity of investors and businesses; 
  3. Pursuing enforcement and examination initiatives focused on identifying and addressing misconduct that impacts retail investors;
  4. Modernizing design, delivery and content of disclosure so investors can access readable, useful and timely information; and
  5. Identifying ways to increase the number and range of long-term, cost-effective investment options to retail investors, including by expanding the number of companies that are SEC-registered and exchange-listed.

The second goal is to “recognize significant developments and trends in our evolving capital markets and adjust our efforts to ensure we are effectively allocating our resources.” 

The SEC identified four initiatives in pursuit of this strategic goal. Specifically:

  1. Expanding market knowledge and oversight to identify, understand and analyze and respond to market developments and risks;
  2. Identify, and take steps to address, existing SEC rules and approaches that our outdated;
  3. Examine strategies to address cyber and other system and infrastructure risk faced by capital markets and market participants; and
  4. Promoting agency preparedness and emergency response capabilities.

The third goal is to “elevate the SEC’s performance by enhancing our analytical capabilities and human capital development."

The SEC identified five initiatives in pursuit of this strategic goal. Specifically:  

  1. Focusing on the SEC’s workforce capabilities;
  2. Expanding the use of risk and data analytics;
  3. Enhancing its analytics of market and industry data;
  4. Enhancing the agency’s internal control and risk management capacities;  and
  5. Promoting collaboration with other SEC offices.

The draft plan was prepared in accordance with the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act of 2010, which requires federal agencies to outline their missions, planned initiatives, and strategic goals for a four-year period.

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