SEC to focus on asset management, disclosure, market structure in 2016

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission logo adorns an office door at the SEC headquarters in Washington, June 24, 2011. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The main U.S. financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, will zone in on asset management, equity market structure, and disclosure effectiveness in 2016, Chair Mary Jo White said on Friday.

There is limited time for the commission to accomplish any goals, with the administration of President Barack Obama coming to an end in less than 12 months. Traditionally, the head of the SEC, a politically appointed position, is replaced when a president leaves office. The SEC is currently down two members from its full complement of five.

In equity market structure, the SEC will finalize rules on the oversight of active proprietary traders and on alternative trading systems. It will also work to enhance order routing disclosures and the risk controls on trading algorithms, White said in a speech at a lawyers’ meeting in Washington.

White said she anticipates the SEC will soon ask for comment on a plan from self-regulatory organizations for the consolidated audit trail, which would establish a central database for every trade order, execution and cancellation to help regulators better police Wall Street trading activity in stock and options markets.

For asset management, White said the SEC would continue to look at liquidity risk, and that “advancing proposals for transition planning and stress testing are among our 2016 priorities for the asset management industry.”

Reporting by Lisa Lambert