US SEC establishes standalone DLT and digital asset Hub
The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology, commonly referred to as FinHub, which will become a stand-alone office. Valerie A. Szczepanik will continue to lead FinHub as its first director and will report directly to the SEC Chairman.
Established within the Division of Corporation Finance in 2018, FinHub has spearheaded agency efforts to encourage responsible innovation in the financial sector, including in evolving areas such as distributed ledger technology and digital assets, automated investment advice, digital marketplace financing, and artificial intelligence and machine learning. Through FinHub, market and technology innovators as well as domestic and international regulators have been able to engage with SEC staff on new approaches to capital formation, trading, and other financial services within the parameters of the federal securities laws.
Designating FinHub as a stand-alone office strengthens the SEC’s ability to continue fostering innovation in emerging technologies in our markets consistent with investor protection. The office will continue to lead the agency’s work to identify and analyze emerging financial technologies affecting the future of the securities industry, and engage with market participants, as technologies develop. As Director of FinHub, Ms. Szczepanik will coordinate the analysis of emerging financial innovations and technologies across the SEC’s divisions and offices and with global regulators and will advise the Commission and SEC staff as they develop and implement policies this area.
“The SEC is committed to innovation in our markets, consistent with our time-tested regulatory framework,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. “Our action to establish FinHub as standalone office furthers our commitment to facilitate the introduction of new technologies for the benefit of investors and the efficiency and resiliency of our markets. The agency is fortunate to benefit from Val’s expertise and deep knowledge in the areas of innovation, financial technology and investor protection, and I’m pleased she will continue to lead FinHub as its first director.”
Bill Hinman, Director of the Division of Corporation Finance said, “Not surprisingly, FinHub has thrived under Val’s leadership. This move to enhance FinHub’s role in leading and coordinating policy across all SEC Divisions and Offices will benefit market innovators and strengthen investor protection.”
“The scope and complexity of FinHub’s work has continued to evolve and expand as technology itself has evolved,” said Ms. Szczepanik. “This organizational shift will facilitate the agency’s agility and flexibility to work with market participants and regulators worldwide, and to encourage leading-edge innovation that will shape the intersection between the federal securities laws and technology.”
Prior to joining the Division of Corporation Finance, Ms. Szczepanik served as Assistant Director in the Division of Enforcement’s Cyber Unit. Ms. Szczepanik received her JD from Georgetown University and her Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania