The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday named Marc Berger deputy director of the Division of Enforcement.
Berger joins Enforcement from a nearly three-year stint as director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. Atlanta Regional Director Richard Best has been promoted to replace Berger in New York.
Berger, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York (SDNY), had led the SEC’s New York office since December 2017. During his 12 years at SDNY, he served as chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force, where he supervised the investigation and prosecution of financial and investment fraud cases.
His move is part of a cascade of changes that began when the Division of Enforcement’s co-director, Steven Peikin, stepped down from his position as of Aug. 14. Stephanie Avakian, who had also been a co-director of the division with Peikin, took over as director.
“Marc has done an outstanding job leading the New York Regional Office and his legal acumen, excellent judgment, and strong management skills will serve him well in his new role,” Avakian said in a press release.
Avakian had been the last person to hold the division’s deputy director position, from 2014 to 2016, when she was named acting director of the division. Peikin was named co-director with Avakian in 2017.
Best had been in charge of the SEC’s Atlanta office since 2018. He previously led the SEC’s Salt Lake office in Utah.
“Richard has been a remarkable leader of two SEC regional offices. During his tenure in both Salt Lake and Atlanta, he has demonstrated a remarkable ability to effectively pursue the unique needs of the region, always with a keen eye on investor protection and market integrity,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in a press release announcing Best’s promotion.
In the New York Regional Office, Best will oversee 400 professional staff of 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 SEC said. The office is responsible 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.
Best joined the SEC from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority in New York, where he was a senior director and chief counsel in its Department of Enforcement. He also spent approximately 10 years as a prosecutor in the Office of the Bronx County District Attorney.