According to Law360, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reported an unprecedented increase in the dollar amount and number of awards paid out, as well as in the number of tips received to its whistleblower program, in fiscal year 2021. The publication turned to SEC and regulatory enforcement defense partner Jim Lundy for insight on the impact of SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s leadership on this surge in tips.
Lundy said the decline in internal reporting — or conversely, the increase in direct reporting to the commission — is in part due to the pro-whistleblower stance of the SEC under Chair Gary Gensler.
While strong internal whistleblower policies and procedures are generally supported across administrations, Lundy added that a “Democratic-appointed, pro-investor chair like Gensler … will more readily embrace the direct interactions” with whistleblowers.
“Gensler and the new leadership at the SEC have been touting for some time now their increasing scrutiny of our capital markets and the securities laws issues that impact investors, and that they will be very welcoming of information provided by tipsters,” Lundy noted.
Lundy also attributed some of the broader rise in tips to the moves made by Gensler’s SEC to encourage whistleblowers to come forward.