SEC’s Division of Enforcement Published 2020 Annual Report

On November 2, 2020, the SEC’s Division of Enforcement published its annual report for fiscal year 2020.  In fiscal year 2020, the SEC brought a diverse mix of 715 enforcement actions, including 405 “standalone actions”.   72% of standalone actions included charges against one or more individuals.  Over 20% of all enforcement actions were against investment advisers representing the second largest group just under securities offerings.  There were judgments and orders totaling approximately $4.68 billion in disgorgement and penalties – the highest amount on record.  Of concern is potential undisclosed conflicts such as an advisers’ use of cash sweep arrangements. Another potential area of concern is the transparency of fee structures around their accounts such as in “wrap fee programs”.  Fiscal Year 2020 was a record-breaking year for the whistleblower program.  []