Richards To Leave SEC Compliance Post

Lori A. Richards will depart as director of the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. Associate Director-Chief Counsel John Walsh will serve as Acting Director.

Lori A. Richards, Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), plans to leave the Securities and Exchange Commission after more than two decades of government service.

Ms. Richards has been the Director of OCIE since Chairman Arthur Levitt created it in May 1995. She managed the SEC’s nationwide examination oversight programs for investment advisers, hedge fund managers, mutual funds, broker-dealers, clearing agencies, transfer agents, trading markets, self-regulatory organizations and credit rating agencies. 

OCIE Associate Director-Chief Counsel John Walsh will serve as Acting Director of OCIE when Ms. Richards steps down on August 7. Mr. Walsh is a 20-year veteran of the SEC, including service in the Office of General Counsel, the Division of Enforcement, and as Special Counsel to Chairman Arthur Levitt. He has been a member of OCIE’s staff since its creation in 1995.

During her tenure, Ms. Richards helped the agency identify and address abusive trading by exchange specialists, shortcomings in credit rating agencies practices, conflicts of interest by pension consultants, asset valuation problems, insider trading, sales of securities to seniors at “free lunch” seminars, mutual funds’ payments for “shelf space” and many more issues.

Before becoming the Director of OCIE, Ms. Richards was executive assistant and senior adviser to Chairman Levitt. Prior to that, she was Associate Regional Administrator for Enforcement in the SEC’s Los Angeles office.

She received the SEC’s Distinguished Service Award in 2008 (the SEC’s highest award), and the Irving Pollack Award in 1992. She has a J.D. from Washington College of Law, and a B.A. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University.

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