The Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement division has improved its market expertise and enforcement record, current and former enforcement officials gathered in Washington agreed Wednesday.
“The division is extremely strong,” said Andrew Ceresney, the current co-director of the SEC enforcement division, at the Securities Enforcement Forum. “We want the division to be perceived as being the most effective, but also fair.”
Mr. Ceresney said that current priorities include new market practices like high-frequency trading and investment adviser fee approval practices and compliance controls.
Asked whether the SEC officials will push for more admissions of guilt instead of settlements, Mr. Ceresney said: “The conclusion we came to is there are certain cases where there is a need for accountability. Most of our cases will continue (to settle) because there is a need for swift resolution.”
His immediate predecessor, Robert Khuzami — who created well-regarded specialized units within the enforcement division to focus on asset managers, new products and public pensions, among other areas — said that during his tenure, the division considered a wholesale shift away from settlements but realized “there are opportunity costs, that other cases aren't going to get done,” Mr. Khuzami said.