The Investment Adviser Association announced Wednesday that Karen Barr, its longtime general counsel, will become the association’s new president and CEO, replacing David Tittsworth, who has led the association since 1996.
“It has been a great professional privilege and personal pleasure to work with Karen for many years,” Tittsworth said in a statement. “She has been a leader in all decisions and activities of the association for nearly two decades. She is uniquely qualified to lead the IAA going forward.”
Barr, who has served as IAA’s general counsel since March 1997, will assume her new role on Nov. 3.
Tittsworth announced in February that he planned to retire from his post in order to explore personal goals and interests.
“I am truly honored to have the opportunity to serve the IAA as president and CEO,” Barr said in the statement. “I am excited to work with our Board, our staff and all of our member firms to advance the interests of the investment advisor industry.”
Barr added that IAA has “many important initiatives” to address in the months and years ahead, “from continuing to ensure that advisors’ voices are heard in critical legislative, regulatory and policy debates, to promoting high standards for the benefit of all investors, to providing additional opportunities for members to share best business practices and developments.”
Barr told ThinkAdvisor in an email message that IAA is “optimistic” that H.R. 1627, the Investment Adviser Examination Improvement Act of 2013, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and would allow the Securities and Exchange Commission to collect user fees from advisors to help boost the number of advisor exams, “will continue to gain bipartisan traction in the next Congress.”
IAA, she said, “continues to believe that the user fee legislation represents the most common-sense, transparent, and cost-effective solution to ensure greater frequency of investment advisor examinations.”
Scott Richter of J.P. Morgan Investment Management, chairman of the IAA Board of Governors, said in the statement that “during the last several months, our board has engaged in a thorough and deliberative process to consider a range of candidates for this important role. In making our unanimous decision, it was abundantly clear that Karen is the best-qualified person to lead the Association going forward.”
Prior to joining IAA, Barr was in private practice at the Washington, DC law firm Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now Wilmer Hale), where she represented clients in SEC investigations, securities class action litigation, administrative proceedings, internal corporate investigations and securities regulatory matters. She received her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and her law degree, cum laude, from the University of Michigan.
Check out Tittsworth’s recent DC Update on SEC User Fees, an SRO and Third-Party Exams on ThinkAdvisor.