SEC Enforcement Chief Heads for the Exits

On Wednesday, the SEC announced that its enforcement chief of the past four years, Robert Khuzami, has decided to leave the agency.

Promoted to the position of enforcement director in February 2009, in the immediate wake of the financial crisis, Khuzami had the opportunity to make a significant mark on the SEC, bringing "record numbers of cases" against defendants that included Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Credit Suisse, Citigroup, State Street, Wachovia, and Charles Schwab, as well as against former executives of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Countrywide. In fiscal 2011, the division under Khuzami's leadership filed 735 enforcement actions -- more cases than in any year previously. It then nearly matched that number again in 2012.

Over the course of his term in office, Khuzami's division pursued charges against 65 CEOs, CFOs, and other corporate officers, recovering $2.68 billion in fines and other financial penalties for injured investors, and securing bans against working as officers or directors of public companies, or in the securities industry, against some three dozen individuals.

Laying the groundwork for even more work in years to come, Khuzami established an Office of Market Intelligence to streamline the collection and analysis of the more than 30,000 tips, complaints, and referrals on improper stock market activity that the SEC receives annually, and he established the Office of the Whistleblower to devote more attention to tips from corporate insiders.

The SEC didn't state specifically when Khuzami will retire, or what his plans are for after leaving the agency.

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