Heading into 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has stressed the importance of keeping up with technology as it constantly evolves. It is critical that firms embrace the technological advances that are available to them. These advances have given rise to trading in a whole new way. The SEC has made it their job to keep pace with the industry changes, but is also using the technology in order to better achieve their own mission. Firms should commit to doing the same.
In her keynote address on January 27, 2014 at the 41st Annual Securities Regulation Institute in, Coronado, California, Chair Mary Jo White gave examples of how the SEC is using several different programs to keep up, and in some cases, get ahead. The SEC is using a program called “NEAT” (National Exam Analytics Tool) that was designed by their Quantitative Analytics Unit. NEAT allows the SEC to analyze large amounts of data in a much shorter period of time. Similar analytics programs such as this may be utilized by firms to check trading transactions and search for red flags.
The SEC also is using an online tool called “MIDAS” (Market Information Data Analytics System). MIDAS collects trading data in real time from the current market and analyzes it. The SEC is making the analyses of the data available to the public accessible via computer, tablet or smartphone. It is expected that MIDAS will help reveal “data-based realities that may resolve some of the speculations about behavior in today’s market structure.”
The goal for firms in 2014 should be not only to use systems and tools that will help keep pace with ever-changing technology, but also to strengthen your understanding of what is available to you and your systems’ capabilities. Find ways to improve your technological systems, create an action plan and make 2014 the year to get ahead of the curve.
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