The SEC is an independent federal agency, established pursuant to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, headed by a five-member Commission. The Commissioners are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The President designates one of the Commissioners as the Chairman.
The federal securities laws task the SEC with a broad and diverse set of responsibilities, including to:
- Engage and interact with the investing public directly on a daily basis through a variety of channels, including investor roundtables and education programs and alerts on SEC.gov;
- Oversee approximately $82 trillion in securities trading annually on U.S. equity markets;
- Oversee approximately $40 trillion in the U.S. fixed income market;
- Selectively review the disclosures and financial statements of approximately 4,300 exchange-listed public companies with an aggregate market capitalization of $30 trillion;
- Oversee the activities of over 26,000 registered market participants, including investment advisers, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, broker-dealers, municipal advisors, and transfer agents, who employ at least 940,000 individuals in the United States;
- Oversee 21 national securities exchanges, 10 credit rating agencies, 7 active registered clearing agencies, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC), and the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB); and
- Provide critical market services through information technology systems, such as the more than 50 million pages of disclosure documents available on the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) system.
The five Commission members act jointly to set and enforce the rules that govern the securities markets and its participants. The Chairman is responsible for overseeing the executive and administrative functions of the agency and our approximately 4,500 staff members, who are organized into 5 divisions and 25 offices, located in our Washington, DC, headquarters and 11 regional offices. This Strategic Plan sets forth the Chairman’s vision as the SEC’s senior accountable executive. It was developed in consultation with, and with input from, all Commission members, but may not necessarily represent the views of all Commissioners.
To protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation.
To promote capital markets that inspire public confidence and provide a diverse array of financial opportunities to retail and institutional investors, entrepreneurs, public companies, and other market participants.
We inspire public confidence and trust by adhering to the highest ethical standards.
We are committed to excellence in pursuit of our mission on behalf of the American public.
We embrace our responsibilities and hold ourselves accountable to the American public.
We recognize that success depends on a skilled, diverse, coordinated team committed to the highest standards of trust, hard work, cooperation, and communication.
We treat investors, market participants, and others fairly and in accordance with the law.
We strive for innovative, flexible, and pragmatic regulatory approaches that achieve our goals and recognize the ever-changing nature of our capital markets.