The Securities and Exchange Commission has assembled the team of officials who will be instrumental in coordinating a fiduciary rulemaking with the Department of Labor.
The agency announced Thursday that Dalia Blass will serve as director of the agency’s Division of Investment Management, replacing David Grim, and that John Cook is the new lead advisor to SEC Chairman Jay Clayton on matters involving IM, the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA), and on enforcement matters.
Jeffrey Harris, former chief economist at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, was also named director of DERA, replacing Mark Flannery.
Blass previously served in leadership roles in the IM division, most recently as assistant chief counsel.
Former IM director Norm Champ told ThinkAdvisor that Blass’ “extensive experience at the SEC makes her uniquely qualified to work on crafting a fiduciary standard applicable to all investment advisors and broker-dealers.”
Champ said that he looks forward to seeing the SEC “assert its leadership in this area because the DOL’s attempts have been fundamentally misguided in imposing a fiduciary duty on advisors to retirement accounts.”
Champ also believes Blass’ expertise in “exchange-traded funds could drive adoption of a plain vanilla ETF rule to speed the process for creation of index-based exchange-traded funds.”
Blass rejoins the agency from Ropes & Gray LLP, where she has advised on a broad range of investment fund, private equity and regulatory matters. She previously practiced law at O’Melveny & Myers LLP, and began her career in the London office of Shearman & Sterling LLP.
During her SEC tenure of more than a decade, Blass received the SEC’s Manuel F. Cohen Award, which recognizes outstanding legal ability and performance.