Some new faces will be arriving at the Securities and Exchange Commission soon.
SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White announced Monday that George Canellos, the current acting director of enforcement, and her former junior colleague at Debevoise & Plimpton, Andrew Ceresney, had been named co-directors of the agency’s enforcement division.
“George and Andrew are two of the best lawyers and finest people I know,” said White in a statement. “They are a perfect combination to lead the talented Enforcement Division professionals who protect investors and keep our markets safe and vibrant.”
Canellos has been serving as acting director since January, replacing outgoing SEC enforcement chief Robert Khuzami, who left in early February. Canellos, who had been the division’s deputy director since June, had also worked with White when she was U.S. Attorney in Manhattan. Ceresney, 41, served as a litigation partner at Debevoise focusing on white collar criminal and SEC investigations, complex civil litigation and internal corporate investigations.
Under former SEC enforcement chief Robert Khuzami, the SEC set up five specialized units to crack down on financial wrongdoing in the areas of asset management, market abuse, structured and new products, foreign corrupt practices and municipal securities and public pensions.
Steve Crimmins, a partner with K&L Gates in Washington, who served for eight years as the SEC’s deputy chief litigation counsel, told AdvisorOne Monday that while there may likely be “some restructuring” in the enforcement division under Canellos, 48, and Ceresney, the “specialized unit structure will stay.” But he “wouldn’t be surprised to see a new specialized unit dedicated to public company financial reporting and disclosure.”
Two SEC commissioners, Elisse Walter and Troy Paredes, are also said to be leaving soon.