This division oversees the participants in the secondary securities markets--primarily broker-dealers (represented by the National Association of Securities Dealers) and the stock markets themselves. These organizations make and enforce many of their own rules, and in fact they are officially known under the federal securities laws as self-regulatory organizations (SROs). The SEC has to approve these rules and make sure they conform to the various federal securities laws, and it also hears appeals from the regulatory divisions of the various SROs. The main purpose of this division is to make sure that the markets are operating fairly and smoothly, without practices such as insider trading.
The Division of Market Regulation also oversees the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). The SIPC is a non-profit insurance company that is similar to the banking industry's FDIC. While the SIPC does not protect investors against losses due to trading or company fraud, it does ensure investors keep ownership of their shares should their brokers go under.
The Division of Investment Management >>