The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday announced that Enforcement Director Andrew Ceresney will leave the agency by the end of the year.
During Ceresney’s nearly four years as head of the agency’s largest division, the SEC filed more than 2,850 enforcement actions and obtained judgments and orders totaling more than $13.8 billion in monetary sanctions. The SEC also charged more than 3,300 companies and more than 2,700 individuals, including many CEOs, CFOs and other senior corporate officers.
“Under Andrew’s strong leadership, the Enforcement Division took its already robust enforcement program to an even higher level, achieving unprecedented results, including a record number of enforcement actions, first-of-their-kind cases and a first-ever admissions policy for a civil law enforcement agency,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White, in a press release.
As director, Ceresney helped the enforcement division implement a new settlement protocol requiring defendants in certain cases to make admissions of wrongdoing. Since the admissions policy was instituted, the commission has obtained admissions from approximately 80 parties.
Under Ceresney, the SEC also brought charges against Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services for fraudulent misconduct in its ratings of certain commercial mortgage-backed securities. These enforcement actions were the agency’s first ever against a major ratings firm.
S&P agreed to pay more than $58 million to settle the SEC’s charges, plus an additional $19 million to settle parallel cases announced today by the New York Attorney General’s office ($12 million) and the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office ($7 million).