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SEC Acting Exam Director Kahl to Depart

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What You Need to Know

  • Kahl joined the SEC in 2001 and has served as acting director of the Division of Examinations since July 2021.
  • Richard Best, director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office, will take Kahl's spot.
  • Lara Shalov Mehraban will serve as acting director of the New York Regional Office.

Changes are afoot in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Examinations.

Daniel Kahl, acting director of the division, is departing the agency and Richard Best, director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office, will take his spot. Lara Shalov Mehraban will serve as acting director of the New York Regional Office.

“I am grateful to Dan for his 20-plus years of service at the SEC, most recently as Acting Director of the Division of Examinations,” said SEC Chairman Gary Gensler in a statement. “Our examinations program is so crucial to the SEC’s work to protect investors, and we have benefited from Dan’s leadership, professionalism, and collaboration.

“I am thankful that Rich will lead the Division of Examinations and Lara will head the New York Regional Office. Both Rich and Lara bring a depth of experience and knowledge to these roles, and I look forward to continuing to work with them,” Gensler added.

Kahl joined the SEC in 2001 and has served as acting director of the Division of Examinations since July 2021. He served as Deputy Director of the division since 2018 and as the division’s Chief Counsel since 2016. Prior to joining exams, he led the Division of Investment Management’s Office of Investment Adviser Regulation.

Kahl warned recently at the Investment Adviser Association’s compliance conference that while the agency’s advisor exam rate reached 16% last year, the division has “squeezed out” its resources.

He questioned whether the regulator could reach a 15% exam rate in 2022. “We’re going to try to target 15%” of firms to examine, he said.

The number of examiners, Kahl reported, “has not materially increased for many years” as the number of RIAs increases, he said, adding that the number of net new advisors reached an all-time high in 2021.

“I am proud of the accomplishments of the examination program and on investment adviser policy. I will always cherish and miss working with such a dedicated group of professionals,” Kahl said Thursday in a statement.

Details on Best, Mehraban

Best joined the SEC in 2015 and is currently the Director of the New York Regional Office. He previously served as the Director of the Atlanta and Salt Lake City Regional Offices. Prior to joining the SEC, he held supervisory and investigative positions at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Office of the Bronx County District Attorney.

Best received a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York, College of Old Westbury, and a law degree from Howard University School of Law.

Mehraban joined the SEC in 2007 and has served as the Associate Regional Director for Enforcement in the New York Regional Office since 2015.

Prior to joining the SEC, she was an associate at two New York law firms and clerked for the Honorable Michael Daly Hawkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

She received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, and a law degree from the University of Michigan School of Law.