SEC releases draft of 5-year strategic plan

By Bryan Strickland

The SEC on Wednesday released a draft of its five-year strategic plan, aimed at protecting citizens, the capital markets, and its own workforce.

The strategic plan for fiscal years 2022–2026 is open to public comment for 30 days.

The plan features three goals:

  • Protect against fraud, manipulation, and misconduct;
  • Develop a regulatory framework that keeps pace with evolving markets, business models, and technologies; and
  • Support a skilled workforce that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive and is fully equipped to advance objectives.

"We can't take our leadership in capital markets for granted," SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in the draft document. "Through the goals laid out in this Strategic Plan, we will continue to bring a skilled and steady hand to the capital markets of a changing world."

In order to protect the "everyday investor," the strategic plan states that financial activities big and small should be subject to enforcement for misconduct. The SEC intends to enhance its use of cutting-edge data to "prevent, detect, and enforce against improper behavior."

The SEC also intends to update its disclosure framework to address investor demand, specifically in response to increased calls for disclosure of climate risks, cybersecurity policies, and human capital.

"The markets have begun to embrace the necessity of providing a greater level of disclosure to investors," the plan states. "From time to time, the SEC must update its disclosure framework to reflect investor demand."

Public comments can be logged via the SEC website.

— To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Bryan Strickland at Bryan.Strickland@aicpa-cima.com.

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