SEC To Focus On Liquid Alts In 2015

Jan 21 2015 | 9:39am ET

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will be taking a close look at liquid alternatives products in 2015.

The SEC's Office of Compliance and Inspections and Examinations pledged to examine the raft of new financial products aimed at retail investors as one of three priorities for the year, along with market-wide risks and data analytics.

“We share our annual examination priorities to promote compliance,” said Andrew J. Bowden, OCIE director, in a statement. “We have observed that when we share our areas of focus, many industry participants independently review their controls in the areas we have identified.”

Of its decision to focus on liquid alts, the SEC said: “Retail investors are being offered products and services that were formerly characterized as alternative or institutional, including private funds, illiquid investments, and structured products. Additionally, financial services firms are offering a broad array of information, advice, products, and services to help retail investors plan for and live in retirement. OCIE will assess risks to retail investors that can arise from these trends.”

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