Tiffany Rowe

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With Chair Mary Jo White in her second year at the helm, the Securities and Exchange Commission showcased its efforts, improvements, and enforcement successes at this year’s SEC Speaks Conference. The Commission highlighted that it brought a record number of cases—755 enforcement actions—in fiscal year 2014, and obtained $4.1 billion in monetary relief. The Commission continues to emphasize its increased use of data analytics in both its regulatory efforts and enforcement investigations. As usual, the…
On December 8, 2014, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) announced settlements with fifteen audit firms for violating independence rules applicable to auditors of broker-dealers.  The PCAOB sanctioned seven firms for violating independence rules when those firms prepared the financial statements of brokerage firms that were also their audit clients.  The SEC sanctioned eight auditors for similar independence violations and for causing those clients to violate SEC rules…
The Securities and Exchange Commission for the first time brought charges against a broker-dealer for failure to adequately protect against insider trading by its employees. The charges stem from a broker’s use of a customer’s confidential information to purchase shares in a company being acquired by a private equity firm. (The SEC previously charged the broker with insider trading in a separate action.) The broker-dealer that employed the broker settled charges of violations of the…
For the third year in a row, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) has found shortcomings in the audits of broker-dealers, a trend that could lead to firms spending more to get their books reviewed.  The third progress report on the PCAOB interim inspection program of broker-dealer auditors shows auditing deficiencies or a lack of auditor independence in 56 of the 60 audit firms and 71 of the 90 audits inspected in 2013. While…
On June 24, 2014, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) released staff guidance to help auditors of brokers and dealers registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plan and perform audits in accordance with PCAOB standards as mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act and SEC rules. In July 2013, the SEC adopted amendments to Rule 17a-5 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 annual reporting rules for brokers and dealers.  The amendments, among other…
Each year, the SEC puts on its most informative conference of the year: The SEC Speaks.  During the course of the two-day conference, held this year on February 21 and 22, the Chair and each Commissioner, as well as the most senior staff of each division of the SEC, provide their thoughts and insights into the most pressing issues currently being considered by the Commission. One of the annual highlights of the conference is the…
Baseball fans and legal practitioners alike gathered on June 17 to hear co-director George Canellos of the SEC Enforcement Division lay out some ambitious plans for the agency. Asked about the SEC’s new lineup, Canellos gave fellow co-director Andrew Ceresney and newly appointed Chair Mary Jo White his vote of confidence, noting that they were well-equipped to lead the Division through its most successful season yet. Canellos then talked strategy, noting the following team goals:…
When the SEC talks, people listen. And securities enforcement professions look forward all year to listening to the Commissioners and the SEC’s senior leadership speak at The SEC Speaks conference. In particular, discussions about the Division of Enforcement’s trends and priorities ranks as one of the most anticipated panels at the conference. This year, uncertainty about the SEC’s leadership kept the Division’s senior staff members from providing too many specifics about long-term plans. Nevertheless, they made clear…