Former prosecutor picked to lead SEC’s enforcement division

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The Division of Enforcement is the SEC's largest office, with more than 1,200 staffers. It is responsible for prosecuting violations and insider trading cases, including actions against major banks and financial institutions.

"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,” said Ceresney in a statement.

Ceresney previously worked as a partner in the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, and before that served as a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force and the Major Crimes Unit in the U.S. attorney's office for the Southern District of New York.

In both roles, Ceresney worked alongside White.

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

Canellos, who has been the division's acting director since Robert Khuzami stepped town in January, previously served as director of the SEC's New York Regional Office. Before joining the agency, he spent six years as a litigation partner at the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, and served for nine years as assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York.