Canellos To Replace SEC's Khuzami On Interim Basis

Feb 1 2013 | 11:34am ET

George Canellos, the former head of the Securities and Exchange Commission's New York office, will serve as the agency's interim enforcement chief.

Canellos will take over after the departure next week of Robert Khuzami, who's held the post for four years. Canellos has been Khuzami's deputy at the division since last year, and Khuzami is believed to have pushed for his appointment.

"George is highly-respected for his intellect, prosecutorial instincts, and commitment to tough and fair enforcement of the federal securities laws," Khuzami said. "His service will benefit both the SEC's talented and hard-working staff and the investing public."

A permanent replacement for Khuzami is not expected until the SEC itself has a new permanent chief. President Barack Obama last week nominated former prosecutor Mary Jo White to the post; she awaits confirmation by the Senate.

White's appointment could prove a boon for Canellos, however: He used to work for her at the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office, which White led in the 1990s and early 2000s. Under White, Canellos led the major crimes unit and was a senior trial counsel for the Wall Street task force.

But Canellos does have some challengers, including David Bergers, head of the SEC's Boston office. Bergers was named to fill Canellos' deputy enforcement directorship. And some in the division are pushing for major changes following Khuzami's long tenure.

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