Financial advisors are likely to face more Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions in the next year, an SEC official and two private attorneys told the Investment Adviser Association annual compliance conference Thursday.

SEC Enforcement Division Asset Management Unit Deputy Chief Julie Riewe told the suburban Washington, DC, gathering the increased specialization within the division is giving it the ability to detect fraud earlier and to uncover more complicated rule breaking activity.

“We’re not afraid [to go after] complicated asset valuations and complex fund structures,” she said.

Richard Marshall, an investment management and securities litigation specialist for the law firm of Ropes & Gray, said, “Enforcement is likely to rev up more during the next four years. The SEC is thinking of itself as less of a regulator and more [of an] enforcer.”

Nuveen Asset Management Compliance Director Mary Keefe said there is a big influx of prosecutors at the SEC, with the agency’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations focusing more on enforcement.

On another issue, the association’s executive director, David Tittsworth, predicted the Treasury Department will come out with anti-money-laundering rules for investment advisors this summer.

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