Last year indeed proved to be a lively mix of issues and spirited discourse in the trading and markets space. In addition to the appointments of Hester M. Peirce and Robert J. Jackson Jr. to fill two vacant SEC Commissioner posts, Elad Roisman was appointed as a Commissioner to fill the vacancy created by the departure of Commissioner Michael Piwowar. The Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets (T&M) continued to tackle thorny issues, such as market data reform, the tick size pilot, transaction fees, and market quality for thinly traded stocks. FINRA and other SROs continued to focus on algorithmic trading, code development, and market access controls.
We expect to see more of the same in 2019. Commission rulemaking will continue to be leaner, less prescriptive, and more deferential to market forces. That said, we believe Commission rulemaking will be more procedurally constrained and more intensely scrutinized as a result of the recent change in control of the House of Representatives. Cybersecurity and FinTech issues will continue to receive a good deal of attention, and will likely continue to be key issues covered during regulatory examinations.