According to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s 2021 Examination Priorities, in the last five years the number of Registered Investment Advisers the SEC Division of Examinations oversees increased from about 12,000 to more than 13,900, and the assets under management of RIAs increased from approximately $67 trillion to $97 trillion.
Because of the totality of assets managed, RIAs are always going to be a priority for the SEC. Examinations are not going anywhere. The Division has made significant process, staffing and technology updates to keep up with the growth and increase RIA coverage. In 2020, a year where COVID forced a mid-year switch to remote examinations, Division coverage of RIAs was 15%.