Former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt said Tuesday that examining individual investment advisors once every 11 years is meaningless.
“You can cover up a lot of fraud between exams,” said Pitt, who is currently the chief executive officer of Kalorama Partners, a corporate governance and financial services compliance consulting firm.
The exam cycle was every five years when he started as SEC chair in 2001. Even then, Pitt said the wait was dangerously long for investors.
Speaking alongside Pitt at a seminar was the immediate past SEC Chair Elisse Walter, who said there is an eternity between exams for small and medium size advisors.
She said imposing a fiduciary duty on broker-dealers has become especially important with the convergence of the broker and advisor industries.
Pitt and Walter gave their comments in a seminar at the SEC’s headquarters commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Investment Company and Investment Advisers acts.
The laws were the two last pieces of investor protection legislation passed in the aftermath of the Depression. The bills were passed unanimously.
In a brief appearance, SEC Chair Mary Jo White said she expects to present staff recommendations by the end of the year on the use of derivatives by funds including leverage and enhancing risk management.