The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) released preliminary numbers this month showing that the number of enforcement cases brought by state regulators doubled during 2011. During that year, states brought about 400 cases compared to 208 cases brought during 2010. This increase is due in large part to an expansion of state examinations as a result of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Dodd-Frank gave the states examination authority for some approximately 2,400 “mid-sized” advisers (firms with less than $100 million in assets under management) which are required to switch from SEC to state registration.
As a result of the switch, some former SEC firms that haven’t been examined in many years, if ever, by the SEC now find themselves subject to a state examination and can also look forward to being examined by the state more frequently.