Helpful Hints on What to Expect in 2021 from the SEC’s Division of Enforcement: No One is Above the Law

Closing out our short series of suggested focus areas for 2021, this blog post focus on the overall theme of the SEC's Division of Enforcement’s Annual Report. Over the course of 2020, the industry has tried to navigate through unknown territory, striving to serve their clients, keep their talent safe, and provide their businesses an opportunity to thrive. But in the art of balancing, many details may fall by the wayside. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance for focusing on individual liability for 2021.

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Establishing individual liability, when appropriate, remains high on the SEC’s to-do list. During the period covered by the annual report, the Commission charged individuals in 72% of the standalone enforcement actions it brought, a group that includes numerous CEOs and CFOs, as well as accountants, auditors, and other gatekeepers.

“The SEC is not just focused on the little guy,” said James L. Smith, Senior Compliance Consultant at Core Compliance. “They are also looking at the people at the top of the corporate hierarchy. The message from the top should be that compliance is a strong component of our everyday work life."

“The top priority for clients should be continuing to update their policies and procedures and other controls and updating disclosures as regulatory and business changes occur.”

These challenging times can test even the most vigilant compliance departments. Don’t let your guard down during this increasingly serious coronavirus pandemic. Core Compliance has experienced professionals who can help. Contact us today at 619.278.0020 or at Info@corecls.com to review your firm’s policies and procedures and prepare for the new year.