The SEC stands for the US Securities and Exchange Commission. It is a government agency set up to regulate markets and protect investors in the United States, as well as overseeing any mergers and acquisitions.
Set up in 1934, the SEC’s mandate is to enforce US laws on the trading of securities (financial assets), maintain fair and efficient markets, ensure investors aren’t subject to abuse and help maintain a well-functioning economy.
The SEC requires any individual who purchases more than 5% of a company’s ownership stock to declare it. It also enforces the publication of regular earnings reports from public companies, and prosecutes those who break securities laws.
The SEC is made up of a five-person commission, with each member serving a five-year term.