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SEC Names New Chief of Complex Financial Instruments Unit

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The Securities and Exchange Commission named Daniel Michael the chief of the Enforcement Division’s Complex Financial Instruments Unit.

“Opaque and complex markets such as those policed by CFI provide many opportunities for new types of misconduct that harm retail investors, and Dan is committed to combating it in whatever form it takes,” said Steven Peikin, co-director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, said in a statement.

In his new role, Michael will lead a specialized unit of attorneys and industry experts who are located in offices across the country and investigate potential misconduct related to complex financial products and practices involving sophisticated market participants.

“The unit has successfully identified and pursued fraud in some of the most challenging areas of the markets, and I look forward to building on the important work the CFI team has done to protect investors from wrongdoing involving complex products and trading schemes,” Michael said in a statement.

Michael joined the SEC in 2010, and has served as an assistant director based in the New York Regional Office since 2014. 

He has played a key role in a number of significant enforcement actions, including charges against Merrill Lynch for violating the SEC’s Customer Protection Rule. 

Other significant enforcement actions under Michael’s purview include the SEC’s charges against JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corporation, and two Wall Street traders involved in a fraudulent “parking” scheme in which one temporarily placed securities in the other’s trading book to avoid penalties that would affect his year-end bonus. Before joining the SEC, Michael worked in private practice in New York City and was a law clerk to U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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