The Securities and Exchange Commission is the federal agency tasked with protecting investors and maintaining fair financial markets. During my internship at the Philadelphia Regional Office, I was primarily working with two divisions within the SEC. These groups were the Enforcement Division’s Market Abuse Unit and the Office of Compliance. Both of these teams served different purposes and had varied scopes of work.
As a part of the Market Abuse Unit, I was placed on a small team with a largely independent case load. It was my responsibility to use analytical techniques and my financial experience to investigate potential insider trading, front running, bear raiding and market/price manipulation of equity securities. These investigations were not geographically specific because the Market Abuse Unit operates as a national unit.
The office of compliance operates with region specific goals. The Philadelphia Regional Office has a jurisdiction that spans Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and The District of Columbia. The office of compliance is responsible for ensuring that SEC registered entities within their jurisdiction were operating within the guidelines set forward by US securities laws. I was tasked with completing background due-diligence, reviewing filings and reporting my findings to the examination team prior to a scheduled exam.
As a student who studies both Finance and MIS, I was given the opportunity to use my diverse skill sets to contribute to on-going investigations and examinations. Financial investigation is largely a data driven exercise. I was able to use the data analytics skills I learned in the classroom to effectively uncover potential wrongful financial practices. Having knowledge of financial markets, products and institutions proved to be extremely valuable as well.