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About Division of Economic and Risk Analysis

Jan. 18, 2014

The Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA) 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," DERA 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. DERA 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, DERA 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 nine specialized Offices. The work of the Offices includes:

  • Office of Asset Management: Provides economic and other interdisciplinary analysis in support of the Commission on issues related to the regulation of investment advisers, investment companies, hedge funds and other institutional investors.  This Office will also analyze proposals for new financial products, particularly involving exchange traded funds.
  • Office of the Chief Counsel (OCC): Provides guidance and counsel to the Chief Economist and other division staff regarding legal issues implicated by the Division’s broad mandate.  The office coordinates the integration of the Division’s economic analyses into Commission rulemakings and other Commission action, collaborating with staff from divisions and offices across the agency.  The office also counsels staff in the division working in areas such as structured disclosure, risk assessment, and data analytics.
  • 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 Financial Intermediaries: Provides economic analysis on issues related to the regulation and examination of broker-dealers, financial institutions, analysts affiliated with broker-dealers or financial institutions, clearing agencies, and National Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSROs).
  • 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 Litigation Economics: 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 the Managing Executive: Directs DERA’s business, operational, administrative, and support programs and activities.  Its span of responsibilities reflects the mission support functions at the enterprise level including:  human resources, financial management, contracting, information technology, and infrastructure support.
  • Office of Research and Data Services (ORDS) (formerly OQR): Leads initiatives to develop and support cutting-edge data analytics and data services to support requirements for DERA’s four policy groups , as well as the metrics, models, and other tools developed as part of the risk assessment programs managed by ORA and other offices and divisions across the Commission.  Central to this mission is the continuous growth and maintenance of the Quantitative Research Analytical Data Support (QRADS) program, which is designed to develop and refine high quality financial market data and robust analytical processes.
  • Office of Risk Assessment (ORA): Provides financial and risk modeling expertise to other offices and divisions to support supervisory, surveillance, and investigative programs related to corporate issuers, broker-dealers, investment advisers, and exchanges and trading platforms.  The office also supports agency staff with examination planning, including providing guidance on the collection and analysis of data to help promote risk-based examination programs. 
  • Office of Structured Disclosure (OSD) (formerly ORAID): Leads the design and implementation of technological processes and tools to support the many structured data needs of the Commission, including the creation, implementation, and maintenance of forms and processes designed to capture structured data from SEC registrants through their filings with the Commission.  This includes management and support of the technology required for the Commission to accept and for investors to view structured data filings.  OSD also maintains business ownership of the Tips, Complaints, and Referrals (TCR) system, which includes administrative support, project management over the modernization, and the generation of usage reports.

Contact the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis by email ( or by phone (202-551-6600).

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