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Remarks at the International Institute for Securities Market Growth and Development

Chair Mary Jo White

April 8, 2016

Good morning.  In most years, I either give welcoming or closing remarks at the Institute.  The vagaries of schedules have me here today to briefly address you and I am honored to spend a few minutes with you.

It is my great pleasure to add my welcome to all of you.  The International Institute for Securities Market Growth and Development is one of the most important events that we host at the SEC.  I hope you are enjoying the program and have already learned several things that are useful to you during this first week.

With over 140 delegates from more than 60 countries, this is a great opportunity to meet, collaborate and share ideas with regulators from around the world.  Exchanging best practices and raising international standards for building vibrant capital markets is as important today as it was 26 years ago when this Institute was first started.  We know that when capital markets thrive, businesses prosper, economies grow, and standards of living improve.  That is obviously good for each of our countries.

We all have much unfinished business.  Our markets face new and rising challenges, including issues related to cybersecurity and data privacy, and are confronted with new financial innovations that bring both promise – in terms of broader, more affordable access to our markets – and risks.  These developments compel us to work harder, and more collaboratively, because the challenges are not unique to any one regulator or country.  By working together, we can pool our collective knowledge and expertise to ensure that 21st century problems are met with 21st century solutions.  Programs like the Institute help us achieve that.

At the SEC, we are striving to keep pace with the ever-increasing size, sophistication and complexity of the securities markets, as I am sure all of you are.  One key tool in our arsenal is our growing ability to aggregate and process large amounts of data throughout the Commission.  Our Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, as you heard on Tuesday, increasingly uses quantitative data analysis to enhance its risk-based supervision and ensure that our staff focus on the most significant threats when deciding which entities, and which issues, to examine.

The Division of Enforcement is also making great use of new tools.  In insider trading investigations, for example, the Division uses sophisticated software to identify and assess suspicious trading.  One very successful program, called the Advanced Relational Trading Enforcement Metrics Investigation System or “ARTEMIS,” analyzes patterns and relationships among multiple traders using the Division’s electronic database of over six billion electronic equities and options trading records.  The Division also has a Center for Quantitative and Risk Analytics that conducts advanced data analytics to generate new leads and assist existing investigations.  You will hear more about these programs next Monday and Tuesday.

Also on Tuesday, you will receive a Video Virtual Tour of the SEC’s Forensic Lab – another key enforcement tool that enhances our ability to handle and analyze electronically stored information for our investigative and evidentiary needs.  Our Forensics Lab assists our investigators in a number of ways, including recovering deleted documents, deciphering metadata and geo-location information, and more efficiently locating critical electronic evidence.

Of course, there are limits to what any one agency can accomplish on its own – global threats require global cooperation.  As you will hear in the next session, the SEC uses a variety of methods to ensure that securities law violators cannot evade prosecution by hiding their conduct, their money, or themselves in another jurisdiction.  As one example, in the VimpelCom foreign bribery case we filed in February, the SEC worked seamlessly with Dutch authorities and reached a global resolution that resulted in monetary sanctions of more than $795 million divided between the SEC, the U.S. Department of Justice, and Dutch regulators.  The international coordination in this case was exceptional – and truly global in nature – we received very valuable assistance from 15 separate international securities or law enforcement agencies that helped unravel the illegal payment scheme.

In another case, SEC v. Dubovoy, the SEC sued over 30 defendants – located in the U.S. and abroad – including two Ukrainian men who allegedly hacked into U.S. newswire services and sold material nonpublic information to traders in Russia, Ukraine, Malta, Cyprus, France, and the U.S.  Through the assistance of our international partners, we were able to quickly freeze tens of millions of dollars of illegal trading proceeds from the scheme.  To date, we have frozen approximately $80 million of assets located around the world and obtained settlements from ten defendants totaling more than $50 million.

To continue these successes for all of us, we need to enhance how regulators cooperate internationally and to innovate beyond some of our more traditional forms of information sharing.  Whether through IOSCO or bilaterally, we must broaden the scope of international cooperation to go beyond banking, brokerage and beneficial ownership information and better address modern technologies and forms of communication.  And we must improve the efficiency of our cooperation process, so that our agencies can get the evidence they need sooner.  The speed with which our markets function can mean that delays of even just a few days can be the difference in halting a pump and dump scheme before it infects the market or recovering millions of dollars for harmed investors before wrongdoers flee with their ill-gotten gains.  That is why the SEC strongly supports the efforts of the IOSCO to develop an Enhanced Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (the “EMMOU”) that will augment the existing cooperation framework.  And that is also why programs that foster stronger relationships and coordination among regulators, like the Institute, are also so critical.

Let me stop and let you get back to your program.  But before I leave you, I want to thank a few folks.  Pulling off an event as important and comprehensive as this is a tall order – I’ve seen the agenda and I don’t know how they do it – with 70 speakers, including officials from the SEC, FINRA, DOJ, FBI, CFTC and the World Bank.  So, many thanks to the staff in our Office of International Affairs for their critical, behind-the-scenes work in making this Institute run smoothly, including Paul Leder, Alberto Arevalo, Scott Birdwell, and Erin McCartney.

I also want to express my sincere gratitude to all of you for taking the time out of your demanding schedules to travel so far to be with us these two weeks.  Your commitment to your organization, and our common regulatory cause, is inspiring.  I look forward to continuing and strengthening our work together and I hope you enjoy the remainder of your time at the Institute and in the United States.