Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration (PhD)

Degree Level





Jonathan Shipman

Committee Member

Cory Cassell

Second Committee Member

Zac Wiebe


Enforcement, Financial experience, SEC investigations, SEC regional directors


The SEC’s Division of Enforcement is frequently criticized for its lack of oversight effectiveness, and certain vocal critics attribute this to a lack of financial experience within the SEC. Using hand-collected data on SEC regional directors, I find that the majority of these SEC officials lack financial experience. I then examine whether the financial experience of SEC regional directors impacts SEC investigations into reporting entities. Consistent with financial experience equipping directors to better process complex financial transactions and reports, I find that directors with financial experience open public company investigations 29 percent more often and conduct these investigations 34 percent more efficiently. Additional analyses reveal that directors with financial experience open more investigations related to financial fraud or disclosure and that these directors tend to open more consequential investigations. Overall, this study provides new insights into the SEC’s oversight process and should be of interest to regulators and other capital market participants concerned with SEC oversight.

Available for download on Monday, October 14, 2024