SEC Commissioner Says that 10% of Enforcement Actions Have Targeted CCOs
SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar has issued a public statement indicating that the SEC does not specifically target Chief Compliance Officers, although more than 10% of enforcement cases brought between 2009 and 2014 have named the CCO. Mr. Aguilar said the SEC “does not bring enforcement actions against CCOs who take their jobs seriously and do their jobs competently, diligently, and in good faith to protect investors” and that “CCOs who put investors first and do their jobs competently, diligently, and in good faith should not worry about being targeted by an SEC enforcement action.” Mr. Aguilar said that most of the cases targeting CCOs involved senior executives that “wore more than one hat” including founders, CEOs, GCs, CFOs, and PMs. Mr. Aguilar presented data indicating that the SEC brought 80 cases against CCOs between 2009 and 2014 out of the 751 enforcement cases brought against investment advisers and investment companies.
OUR TAKE: Mr. Aguilar’s data and statements argue for a dedicated Chief Compliance Officer independent of management or management function. Firm principals that engage in multiple management functions have a 10% chance of a personal enforcement action should the SEC move against the firm.