Yesterday, C. Dabney O’Riordan of the SEC’s Los Angeles Regional Office was named co-chief of the Division of Enforcement’s Asset Management Unit. She fills the co-chief role left vacant when Marshall Sprung left the agency in April 2016 to join Blackstone Group LP as a managing director and the firm's global head of compliance.
As co-chief of the AMU along with the SEC's Anthony Kelly, O’Riordan will lead the specialized unit that focuses on investigations involving Investment Advisors, Investment Companies, Hedge Funds, and Private Equity Funds, and will head up a nationwide staff of nearly 80 attorneys, industry experts, and other professionals. In naming her as co-chief, Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, cited O'Riordan's excellent judgment, deep knowledge of the laws and rules governing the asset management industry, and strong leadership skills. He added that he was confident that O'Riordan and Kelly "will be great partners in the unit’s mission and the SEC’s efforts to root out misconduct in the asset management industry."
Ms. O’Riordan began working in the SEC's Los Angeles office in 2005 as a staff attorney, served as counsel to the Director of the Division of Enforcement, and became an Assistant Director in 2012. She has been a member of the AMU since its inception in 2010, during which time she has investigated or supervised enforcement cases including the first action charging a private equity fund manager for misallocating expenses between the manager and the private funds, the first action regarding the unregistered offer and sale of binary options, and the first action against a CEO solely seeking return of incentive based compensation under Section 304 of Sarbanes-Oxley.
In a speech last month at Securities Enforcement Forum West 2016, Ceresney emphasized the Enforcement Division was increasingly focused on private equity. He stated that the AMU had brought eight enforcement actions to date related to private equity advisers "with more to come," particularly in the areas of undisclosed fees and expenses, improper shifting and misallocating expenses, and inadequately disclosed conflicts of interests.