Washington, D.C., Nov. 13, 2008 (LAWFUEL) – The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that it has completed its 14th Annual International Institute for Securities Enforcement and Market Oversight. It was held from November 3 to November 7 at SEC headquarters in Washington, D.C. Along with an International Institute for Securities Market Development, which is held in the spring of each year, the Institute is the SEC’s flagship training program.
Attendance included more than 165 senior securities officials from more than 55 foreign jurisdictions. Approximately 40 speakers made presentations at the Institute, including speeches by SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, and the SEC Director of Enforcement Linda Chatman Thomsen. Presentation topics included financial fraud, offering fraud, insider trading, market manipulation, market surveillance systems, broker-dealer compliance, auditor oversight, remedies and sanctions, hedge funds, the current market turmoil, and criminal enforcement and parallel proceedings as well as international cooperation.
Chairman Cox said, “The events of recent months have demonstrated more clearly than ever that maintaining market confidence is a global responsibility. As the credit crisis has unfolded throughout the world, the SEC has been working closely with our international regulatory counterparts, including those attending the Institute. The scale of our international enforcement cooperation has been massive. Over the last year, the SEC made 556 requests of foreign regulators for assistance with SEC investigations. That’s more than one a day on average. And the SEC has responded to nearly as many requests from abroad. In the midst of the current global financial storms, the Institute and the opportunities it provides to share strategies and best practices are more important than ever.”
Ethiopis Tafara, Director of the SEC’s Office of International Affairs, added, “During periods of market turmoil, market frauds like insider trading, market manipulation, financial accounting fraud, pyramid schemes, and customer abuse often intensify. We must remain especially vigilant in the days ahead for these timeless frauds that have always threatened the integrity of capital markets. The SEC staff is absolutely committed to solidifying our partnerships with our international counterparts to combat any abuse that weakens our respective capital markets.”
Along with the Institutes, the SEC offers a technical assistance program, which includes regional training programs, bilateral training programs, reviews of foreign statutes and regulations, and responses to specific technical assistance inquiries. The SEC has provided training for more than 1,900 foreign capital market officials from 125 foreign jurisdictions in fiscal year 2008 alone. For more information on SEC’s technical assistance program, contact Dr. Robert M. Fisher or Z. Scott Birdwell at the Office of International Affairs at 202-551-6690 or by e-mail at OIA@SEC.gov.