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Three Top SEC Officials to Leave Agency

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As SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White is set to step down in January, three more SEC officials in top posts announced this week that they are also leaving the agency.

On Monday, the SEC announced that Matthew Solomon, the chief litigation counsel for the SEC’s enforcement division, will leave the agency early next month.

David Gottesman, the enforcement division’s deputy chief litigation counsel, and Bridget Fitzpatrick, a supervisory trial counsel in the enforcement division, will serve as acting co-chief litigation counsels.

Solomon has led the enforcement division’s litigation program since September 2013, managing cases pending both in federal courts and administrative proceedings at the commission.

During Solomon’s tenure as chief litigation counsel, the agency received favorable verdicts in 22 federal jury trials, including the SEC’s cases against two brothers accused of violating the laws governing ownership and trading of securities by corporate insiders, its insider trading cases against two brokerage employees and a pharmaceutical executive and a U.K. resident, and a first-ever case against a recidivist municipality and one of its city officials. 

“Matt has won the respect of every trial and investigative attorney in the Enforcement Division with his keen intellect, strong strategic sense, and outstanding trial skills,” Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC’s dnforcement division, said in a statement. “He has bolstered our already strong litigation program, and been an important reason for our success at trial over the last few years.”

On the same day, the SEC announced that Stephen Luparello, director of the division of trading and markets, will leave the agency by the first of the year. He was named director of the office in February 2014. Upon Luparello’s departure, Heather Seidel, chief counsel for the division of trading and markets, will become the acting director.

Luparello played a key role in enhancing the transparency and strengthening the integrity of our nation’s markets, including the operation of trading platforms, clearing agencies, and broker-dealers that investors rely on every day.

During his tenure at the SEC, Luparello provided strong leadership on the adoption of many Dodd-Frank Title VII rules that provided a new regulatory regime for security-based swaps, involving cross-border rules for security-based swap (SBS) entities, rules for SBS data repositories, new business conduct standards, and enhanced SBS transactions reporting and recordkeeping.

“We set an ambitious agenda to enhance our market structure,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White in a statement. “Steve was at the forefront of that effort, and his leadership and expertise have helped produce both important new protections for investors today and a strong foundation from which the Commission can continue to further strengthen our markets for years to come. The agency is extremely fortunate to have the benefit of Steve’s deep knowledge and commitment to the markets.”

On Tuesday, the SEC announced that chief accountant James Schnurr intends to retire from the agency. Schnurr began his tenure as the SEC’s chief accountant in October 2014.

Wesley Bricker will succeed James Schnurr as chief accountant, the SEC also announced.

In April 2016, Schnurr was in a serious bicycle accident and is continuing his rehabilitation from his injuries. Retiring will allow him to focus “full-time on his rehabilitation.”

During his tenure at the SEC, Schnurr was committed to establishing and enforcing accounting and auditing policy as well as to improving the professional performance of public company auditors. 

Under his leadership, the Office of the Chief Accountant worked to enhance the transparency and relevancy of financial reporting and has worked to ensure that financial statements are credible and presented fairly.

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