The Securities Enforcement Empirical Database (SEED) tracks and records information for SEC enforcement actions filed against public companies traded on major U.S. exchanges and their subsidiaries.

Created by the NYU Pollack Center for Law & Business in cooperation with Cornerstone Research, SEED facilitates the analysis and reporting of SEC enforcement actions through regular updates of new filings and settlement information for ongoing enforcement actions. The variables tracked include defendant names and types, violations, venues, and resolutions.

Our goal is to shed light on the SEC’s securities law enforcement decisions.  SEED is the first public database to provide easily searchable and verified data to researchers, counsel, and corporations, as well as regular reports on developments and trends.
-- Professor Stephen Choi, Director of the Pollack Center for Law & Business.

The figure illustrates the number of SEC actions against public companies and subsidiaries in each half of fiscal years 2010 to 1H 2019

See color accessible chart. See full text description.


SEC Enforcement Activity: Public Companies and Subsidiaries (May 2019)

Key takeaways from the SEED research report for 1H FY 2019 include:

  • The SEC’s Share Class Selection Disclosure Initiative drove enforcement activity against public companies and subsidiaries in 1H FY 2019, with almost 50 percent of new actions filed pursuant to this initiative.
  • The SEC initiated 52 enforcement actions against public companies and subsidiaries in 1H FY 2019, the third-most in any half-year period tracked by SEED.
  • Driven by self-reporting as part of the Share Class Initiative, more than half (52 percent) of public company and subsidiary actions in 1H FY 2019 involved Investment Advisor/Investment Company allegations, by far the highest for that category in any half-year tracked by SEED.
  • Every public company and subsidiary action was filed as an administrative proceeding during 1H FY 2019, the only time all actions were filed as administrative proceedings in any half-year tracked by SEED.
  • In 1H FY 2019, 88 percent of public company and subsidiary defendants cooperated with the SEC, the highest percentage in any half-year tracked by SEED.
  • Monetary settlements in public company and subsidiary actions totaled $742 million in 1H FY 2019.

Prior SEED and Cornerstone Research Reports 

This project is a collaboration between these organizations:

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Pollack Center for Law & Business 

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