WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission is restructuring its enforcement division to include five national units to specialize in complex areas of securities law, including one that will focus on municipal securities and public pensions, the SEC’s top enforcement official said Wednesday.
“The market for municipal securities is huge, and there is every reason to believe that the size and importance of these markets will continue to grow, as the nation’s infrastructure needs increase and more and more investors seek safe investment opportunities,” Robert Khuzami, the director of the SEC’s enforcement division, told members of the New York City Bar Association.
“A number of areas appear ripe for scrutiny, including offering and disclosure issues, tax and arbitrage-driven activity, unfunded or underfunded liabilities, and 'pay-to-play’ schemes in which money managers and advisors pay kickbacks and give other favors in return for the right to sub-advise the funds,” he said.
It is not clear who will head the unit, a source said. Currently, the SEC coordinates its municipal securities enforcement activities through a group led by officials in its Philadelphia office, including regional municipal securities counsel Mark Zehner.