In their ongoing effort to improve investor protection, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently launched two new initiatives. One is a new search tool aimed at helping investors avoid potential investment fraud.1 The other initiative is “Tell Us,” an outreach to the public asking for their input on the SEC’s efforts to enhance retail investor protection and promote choice and access to a variety of investment services and products.
The new search tool, called SALI, which is short for SEC Action Lookup for Individuals, assists investors in identifying registered and unregistered individuals who have been involved in past SEC enforcement actions and against whom federal courts have entered judgments or the SEC has issued orders. SALI can be accessed on the web by going to https://www.sec.gov/litigations/sec-action-look-up.2 To run a search you need to include at least two letters of the individual’s last name.
The SALI database only includes individuals from SEC actions filed between October 1, 2013 and March 1, 2018.3
The SEC will periodically update this search tool, adding individuals from newly-filed actions. They will also eventually be adding individuals from actions that were filed before October 1, 2013. Only those individuals who have been named as defendants in SEC federal court actions or respondents in SEC administrative proceedings are listed. The new tool’s results are not limited to registered investment professionals, as with many existing online search functions.
Search results include individuals against whom a judgment or order has been issued, including individuals who settled, defaulted, or contested their actions, provided a judgment or order was issued against them. The SALI database does not include individuals whose cases are currently pending at the trial court or those against whom no judgment or order was issued. Relief defendants named in district court actions are also not included in the database. As always, when making investment decisions it is advisable to do other research in addition to using resources like the SALI database. The SEC provides a wealth of educational resources at www. Investor.gov.4
In an effort to gauge how well the SEC is doing in their efforts to protect retail investors, they have also recently launched the “Tell Us” program. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and executive staff members will be available at a series of round table discussions with Main Street investors which will be held across the country. These roundtables are scheduled for July and will be held in Miami; Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; and Denver. “It has been incredibly informative and gratifying to talk with investors in their own backyards about their expectations regarding relationships and their investment professionals,” said Chairman Clayton. 5
Roundtables have already been held in Houston and Atlanta. Dates, times and RSVP information can be found at https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2018-125.6 Attendees should be retail investors who work with a financial professional and have no affiliation with the financial services industry. Some roundtables will be taking place in SEC buildings so attendees will have to have photo identification and will be subject to a security scan. The SEC is encouraging those who are unable to attend a roundtable, to provide their input through the SEC website, https://www.sec.gov/tell-us.7
If you feel that you may have been a victim of securities fraud, please contact our Investment Fraud and Securities Fraud Law Offices serving the Greater Detroit Area including; Birmingham MI, Troy MI, Pontiac MI, Warren MI, Livonia MI, and Beyond! We offer FREE consultations and are happy to talk to you about your unique case today.
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1 SEC Launches Additional Inventor Protection Search Tool, SEC, May 2, 2018
2 SEC Action Lookup – Individuals: Individuals with Court or Commission Orders Entered Against Them
3 SEC Action Lookup – Individuals: Search Tips
4 U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Investor Website
5, 6 SEC Chairman Clayton Invites Main Street Investors to ‘Tell Us’ About Their Investor Experience, Press Release, June 29, 2018
7 Tell Us About Your Investor Experience, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission