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From Securities Regulation Daily, April 22, 2013

Chairman White Names Andrew Ceresney and George Canellos Enforcement Co-Directors

By Mark S. Nelson, J.D.

SEC Chairman Mary Jo White today announced Andrew J. Ceresney and George Canellos as co-directors of the Commission’s enforcement division. The pairing reunites former colleagues and longtime friends Mr. Canellos and Mr. Ceresney with Ms. White. The co-directors will take on an active enforcement calendar and will be charged with implementing Ms. White’s policies as she takes the SEC helm.

Said Ms. White, "George and Andrew are two of the best lawyers and finest people I know. They are a perfect combination to lead the talented Enforcement Division professionals who protect investors and keep our markets safe and vibrant."

With over 1,200 professionals, the enforcement division is the SEC’s largest office. The division’s most recent director, Robert S. Khuzami, completed a major overhaul of the division and refocused its efforts on cases arising from the financial crisis and insider trading.

Ceresney from Debevoise. Mr. Ceresney joins the SEC from law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, where he was a partner. According to his Debevoise biography, Mr. Ceresney focused on white collar criminal defense, internal investigations, and securities and corporate governance litigation. He also was active in the firm’s health care and consumer finance practices. Ms. White was co-chair of Debevoise’s litigation department just prior to being confirmed as SEC chairman.

Mr. Ceresney arrived at Debevoise from the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan. There, Mr. Ceresney was Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney and served on the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force and was a member of the Major Crimes Unit. Mr. Ceresney had responsibility for a variety of matters, including securities fraud.

Said Ms. White, "I have had the pleasure of working with Andrew both at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and in the private sector. He has proven himself to be an extraordinarily talented and versatile lawyer with tremendous judgment and creativity."

Mr. Ceresney expressed his gratitude to Ms. White for the appointment. Said Mr. Ceresney, "I am truly humbled to be joining the SEC’s Enforcement Division with its rich history and deeply committed and talented people. I am excited to be charged with implementing Chairman White’s mandate of bold and unrelenting enforcement and thrilled to be teaming again with George, an immensely talented lawyer and close friend."

Mr. Ceresney received his law degree from Yale Law School in 1996. After graduation, he clerked for Michael B. Mukasey, former Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. He later clerked for Judge Dennis Jacobs (now Chief Judge) of the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

Canellos "acting" no more. In becoming co-director, Mr. Canellos formally drops "acting" from the title he has held since January 2013. Previously, Mr. Canellos was deputy director from June 2012 until this past January. Before joining the SEC’s Washington D.C. office, he was Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office from July 2009 until June 2012.

Said Ms. White, "As head of the New York Regional Office and the Deputy Director and Acting Director of Enforcement, George has distinguished himself at the SEC as a highly respected leader with a keen intellect and extensive knowledge of the securities laws."

Mr. Canellos said he was glad to be working with his former colleagues and to keep pushing ahead with the division’s work. "I am delighted and honored to have this opportunity to serve again under Mary Jo White in partnership with my longtime friend and gifted former colleague," said Mr. Canellos. "I look forward to continuing to work with the Commission and with my colleagues in the Enforcement Division and throughout the agency as we confront new challenges," he added.

Then-Chairman Elisse B. Walter praised Mr. Canellos upon his being named acting director. Said Ms. Walter, "George’s proven intellectual abilities and creative approach to problem-solving have made him an extremely effective advocate for investors and make him ideally suited to serve as Acting Director." Ms. Walter also noted that, as deputy director, Mr. Canellos worked on the most numerous and complex enforcement actions in the history of the SEC.

Former enforcement director Mr. Khuzami also praised Mr. Canellos’s elevation to acting director. Said Mr. Khuzami, "George is highly respected for his intellect, prosecutorial instincts, and commitment to tough and fair enforcement of the federal securities laws."

While at the SEC, Mr. Canellos has been instrumental in building the enforcement division’s Cooperation Program and has been involved in many policy initiatives. Mr. Canellos’s legal career began at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. He spent nine years with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan. Prior to joining the SEC, he also worked for law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP.

Mr. Canellos received his law degree from Columbia University School of law.

Attorneys: Andrew Ceresney (Debevoise & Plimpton LLP)

MainStory: TopStory Enforcement SECNewsandSpeeches

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