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SEC Establishes Risk and Strategy Office

Helping strengthen its oversight of financial advisers, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has announced the creation of the Office of Risk and Strategy. The new unit will be based out of Washington, D.C., and led by Peter Driscoll, who will manage a staff that examines investment advisers and mutual funds. Driscoll said he plans to focus on further developing new tools and techniques to increase the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations’ risk analysis and surveillance. More on the SEC’s Office of Risk and Strategy is available on the Investment News Web site. Registration is required.

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SEC’s Audit Committee Reporting Project Halted

Despite receiving over 100 comment letters in regard to Concept Release No. 33-9862, Possible Revisions to Audit Committee Disclosures, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has decided to put the project on hold. Last month, SEC Chief Accountant James Schnurr said he does not expect any progress in the short term regarding the agency’s efforts to improve audit committee disclosures in proxy filings. Schnurr contributed the decision to the SEC’s inability to reach a consensus on a course of action from the comments submitted. At this time, Schnurr’s staff is reviewing the comments more closely to determine the project’s next. Read More.

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Pax Ellevate Petitions for Gender Pay Disclosures

An investment advisory firm has asked the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to make public companies disclose the pay ratio between male and female employees. In its petition to the SEC, Pax Ellevate Management LLC said gender pay disclosures provide more value for investors and are a useful indicator of well-managed, honest companies. Pax Ellevate also argued that the gender pay ratio falls under the “materiality” definition in Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 99, Materiality, and that the SEC could offer guidance to companies on voluntarily reporting pay equity to investors. The current gender wage gap shows that women earn $0.79. Read More.

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