The SEC enforcement office ended fiscal year 2015 with 807 enforcement actions and $4.2 billion in recovered profits and penalties, compared to 755 actions and $4.16 billion in fiscal 2014, the agency reported Thursday.
“The numbers only tell a small part of the story,” said Andrew Ceresney, Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement director, on a conference call highlighting some first-of-a-kind cases, including a $29 million settlement with KKR & Co. over broken-deal fees and actions against dark-pool operators for inadequate disclosure.
Enforcement priorities in 2015 and beyond include ensuring that exchanges and other market participants such as high-frequency traders operate fairly, cracking down on complex financial instruments and winning admissions of wrongdoing.
The 2015 litigation record was impressive, with 11 wins and two losses in administrative proceedings and victories in all six jury or bench trials in fiscal 2015. “We made it clear that we are prepared to litigate — and win — in court,” Mr. Ceresney said on the call with reporters.
Mr. Ceresney said SEC enforcement officials are off to an impressive start in fiscal year 2016, which started Oct. 1, with actions against the Blackstone Group for accelerated monitoring fees and UBS Willow Management for not disclosing a change in investment strategy, among others. “All of which is to say that we are not slowing down,” he said.