Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation
The Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation (RSFI) was created in September 2009 to integrate financial economics and rigorous data analytics into the core mission of the SEC. The Division is involved across the entire range of SEC activities, including policy-making, rule-making, enforcement, and examination. As the agency's "think tank," RSFI relies on a variety of academic disciplines, quantitative and non-quantitative approaches, and knowledge of market institutions and practices to help the Commission approach complex matters in a fresh light. RSFI also assists in the Commission's efforts to identify, analyze, and respond to risks and trends, including those associated with new financial products and strategies. Through the range and nature of its activities, RSFI serves the critical function of promoting collaborative efforts throughout the agency and breaking through silos that might otherwise limit the impact of the agency's institutional expertise.
The activities of the Offices as a whole include:
- providing detailed, high-quality economic and statistical analyses, and specific subject-matter expertise to the Commission and other Divisions/Offices
- identifying and analyzing issues, trends, and innovations in the marketplace
- developing analytical approaches, methods, and models in order to identify trends, risks, or potential securities law violations in the capital markets
- working with outside experts in academia and industry to strengthen the Commission’s foundation of market knowledge
- managing and analyzing public and private data to support relevant initiatives and projects
- creating knowledge through high-quality research and publication in peer-reviewed journals
- participating in, and contributing to, academic and industry conferences
The Division consists of seven specialized Offices. The work of the Offices includes:
- Office of Corporate Finance: Provides analysis in support of the Commission on issues related to the regulation and examination of issuers of securities with a duty to register under the 1933 Securities Act and make periodic disclosures pursuant to the 1934 Exchange Act. Topical areas include initial public offerings, seasoned equity offerings, corporate mergers and acquisitions, executive compensation, corporate governance and voting, corporate and municipal debt offerings, and disclosures related to asset-backed securities. Related areas frequently addressed include-cross border finance and unregistered offerings.
- Office of Markets: Analyzes issues relating to the structure and regulation of markets including equity, bond, option, securities lending, securities-based swaps, and other OTC derivative markets. Provides assistance in such areas as Commission rulemaking, oversight of SRO rulemaking and surveillance, review of proposals for new financial products and services, responding to requests from market participants for interpretive guidance or rule exemptions, and monitoring and surveillance of markets.
- Office of Investments and Intermediaries: Provides economic and other interdisciplinary analysis in support of the Commission on issues related to the regulation and examination of investment advisers, investment companies, hedge funds and other institutional investors, broker-dealers, financial institutions, analysts affiliated with broker-dealers or financial institutions, Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSROs), and proposals for new financial products and services.
- Office of Litigation Support: Provides support in all aspects of SEC enforcement and litigation, such as identifying evidence of liability, analyzing materiality, estimating ill-gotten gains and damages, providing and responding to expert testimony in the context of negotiations and litigation, and supporting the distribution of recovered funds to harmed investors.
- Office of Quantitative Research: Conducts research and development of analytical methods and develops applications that are utilized by risk-based programs across the Commission. Develops and implements analytical approaches, methods and models to identify and quantitatively characterize risks in securities markets.
- Office of Risk Assessment and Interactive Data: Evaluates risk models and assists the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations in their oversight of broker/dealers and investment advisors. Designs and implements technological processes and tools to support interactive data uses mandated by the Commission. Also identifies and researches new uses for interactive data.
- Office of the Chief Counsel: Provides legal advice and guidance to senior management within RSFI and to other divisions and offices.
Contact the Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation by email (RiskFin@sec.gov) or by phone (202-551-6600).