Mary Jo White, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), plans to require some investment firms and/or financial advisors to admit fault in their settlement of SEC enforcement actions. This new tactic will reverse a long-standing custom with regard to SEC enforcement actions where settling parties were permitted to deny fault or liability for their actions. Ms. White wants an admission of wrongdoing because she believes it will deter firms from engaging in future wrongdoing. Ms. White also believes that this new tactic will help better protect investors. The SEC will not require an admission of wrongdoing in the settlement of every enforcement action, but reserve the admission requirement for the most harmful and deliberate acts of misconduct.
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