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2020 Agency Financial Report

Nov. 16, 2020

Message from the Chairman

Chair Jay Clayton

2020 was certainly a year of challenge unlike any in recent memory. Fortunately, for America’s investors and markets, the women and men of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) once again demonstrated their unwavering and unparalleled commitment to protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitating capital formation. Their dedication combined with our strong and flexible regulatory framework allowed the SEC to respond quickly to the health, economic, and other unexpected challenges we faced this year.

During my time as Chairman, the agency, recognizing the value of our time-tested regulatory framework, has focused on modernizing our rules and regulations, some of which have not been meaningfully updated in decades. We have also taken advantage of advances in communication and other technology to improve our engagement with market participants as well as the methods and practices we employ to fulfill our regulatory responsibilities.

These actions were necessary—in the past 30 years our markets have undergone a sweeping transformation and many of our rules, regulations, and other requirements had, understandably, become dated. More importantly, our modernization efforts improved all three components of our mission: investor protection, market efficiency, and capital formation. This was only possible because each initiative was shaped by our career staff. Their decades of experience, cooperation across divisions and offices, and commitment to our mission provided the bedrock for, and energy to complete, our retrospective review and modernization processes. These dedicated professionals have my profound thanks and respect.

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