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SEC's Corp Fin Creates Three New Specialized Offices

Melissa Klein Aguilar | July 19, 2010

First the Securities and Exchange Commission's Enforcement Division got an overhaul, now major changes are underway in the Division of Corporation Finance, the unit that reviews public company filings.

Corp Fin is creating three new specialized offices focusing on large financial institutions, asset-backed securities and other structured products, and securities offering trends.

The Commission declined to comment beyond the press release. While the creation of the new specialized offices was no doubt in the works before the financial reform legislation was finalized, the changes could help the SEC deal with some of its new duties under the Dodd-Frank Act.

A new financial services disclosure review office will expand the Division's enhanced reviews of large financial services companies. The Division has been conducting continuous real-time reviews of the periodic reports filed by some of the largest bank holding companies and other large financial institutions since late 2008.

According to the SEC press release, the new financial services review office will enable Corp Fin to increase the number of institutions subject to those reviews, concentrate staff expertise, and develop new review techniques to further strengthen its review program. The new office will also facilitate sharing information about the firms it reviews with others throughout the agency involved in regulatory oversight of these firms.

A new office will be dedicated specifically to reviewing disclosures in asset-backed securities and other structured finance products and monitoring their impact on the markets. It will also lead rulemaking and interpretive activities related to structured products.

A capital market trends office will review new securities products and capital markets trends and develop recommendations for changes to enhance investor protection in securities offerings.

The SEC also announced that Paula Dubberly has been named to a new Deputy Director for Policy and Capital Markets position, to oversee the two offices that will review asset-backed securities and other structured finance products and capital markets trends. She will continue to lead the Division's rulemaking efforts through her oversight of the Division's rulemaking office. Dubberly has served in a number of roles within the Division of Corporation Finance since 1992.