The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that George S. Canellos, currently Deputy Director of the Division of Enforcement, has been named Acting Director. The appointment is effective February 8.
"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," said SEC Chairman Elisse B. Walter. "As Deputy Director, he helped to oversee a division that brought record numbers of enforcement actions and some of the most complex cases in the agency's history."
"George is highly respected for his intellect, prosecutorial instincts, and commitment to tough and fair enforcement of the federal securities laws," said Robert S. Khuzami, Director of the Division of Enforcement, who is leaving the SEC on February 8. "His service will benefit both the SEC's talented and hard-working staff and the investing public."
"It is an honor and inspiration to serve with such talented and dedicated colleagues throughout the SEC," said Mr. Canellos. "I look forward to continuing to work with them as we emerge from a historic restructuring and confront new challenges."
Mr. Canellos, 48, has been the division's Deputy Director since June 2012 and has been instrumental in developing the division's Cooperation Program, in generating numerous programmatic, policy, and legislative initiatives, and in critical decisions on national priority enforcement actions.
He served as Director of the SEC's New York Regional Office from July 2009 to June 2012, overseeing 400 enforcement attorneys, accountants, investigators, and compliance examiners involved in the investigation and prosecution of enforcement actions and the performance of compliance inspections in the New York region. The New York office has responsibility for the largest concentration of SEC-registered financial institutions, including more than 4,000 investment banks, investment advisers, broker-dealers, mutual funds and hedge funds.
A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Canellos became an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York in 1994. During his nine years there, Mr. Canellos served in a number of positions including Chief of the Major Crimes Unit, Senior Trial Counsel of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, and Deputy Chief Appellate Attorney. After leaving the U.S. Attorney's Office and before joining the SEC, Mr. Canellos spent more than six years as a litigation partner at the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP. He began his legal career as a litigation associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.
Mr. Canellos is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia University School of Law.