The Securities & Exchange Commission’s Division of Examinations today released its 2024 examination priorities to inform investors & registrants of the key risks, examination topics, & priorities that the Division plans to focus on in the upcoming year. This year’s examinations will prioritize areas that pose emerging risks to investors or the markets in addition to core & perennial risk areas.

“The Division of Examinations plays a critical role in protecting investors & facilitating capital formation,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “In examining for compliance with our time-tested rules, the Division helps registrants understand the rules as well as ensures that markets work for investors & issuers alike. The Division’s efforts, as laid out in the 2024 priorities, enhance trust in our ever-evolving markets.”

“Continuing to make our examination priorities public increases transparency into the examination program & encourages firms to focus their compliance & surveillance efforts on areas of potentially heightened risk to retail investors,” said Division of Examinations’ Director Richard R. Best. “We hope that aligning the publication of our examination priorities with the beginning of the SEC’s fiscal year will provide earlier insight to registrants, investors, & the marketplace of adjustments in our areas of focus year to year.”

The Division conducts examinations & inspections of SEC-registered investment advisers, investment companies, broker-dealers, transfer agents, municipal advisors, securities-based swap dealers, clearing agencies, & other self-regulatory organizations. The Division prioritizes examinations of certain practices, products, & services that it believes present potentially heightened risks to investors or the integrity of the U.S. capital markets. It uses a risk-based approach to fulfill its mission to improve compliance, prevent fraud, monitor risk, & inform policy.

The published priorities are not exhaustive of the focus areas of the Division in its examinations, risk alerts, & outreach. The scope of any examination includes analysis of an entity’s history, operations, services, products offered, & other risk factors.

The collaborative effort to formulate the annual examination priorities starts with feedback from examination staff who are uniquely positioned to identify the practices, products, services, & other factors that may pose risk to investors or the financial markets. The Division also gathers input & advice from the Chair & other Commissioners, staff from other SEC divisions & offices, other federal financial regulators, investors, & industry groups.