Friday, December 22, 2017

Ropes & Gray attorney to head SEC’s New York office

By Anne Sherry, J.D.

The SEC has named Marc Berger as director of the New York Regional Office. Berger, a former federal prosecutor who currently co-leads Ropes & Gray’s global securities and futures enforcement practice, will join the agency in January 2018. He is filling the vacancy created by the departure of Andrew Calamari, who announced his own imminent move to Finn Dixon & Herling.

The New York office oversees more than 4,000 investment banks, investment advisers, broker-dealers, mutual funds, and hedge funds. Berger will lead a staff of nearly 400 professionals involved in investigating and prosecuting enforcement actions and conducting compliance inspections. Before joining Ropes & Gray, he spent 12 years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York and led the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. In a recent white paper published in Securities Regulation Daily, Berger analyzed a new Argentine law that subjects companies to criminal liability for corruption.

The two directors of the SEC’s Enforcement Division spoke favorably of Berger’s trial and appellate experience. Stephanie Avakian expressed confidence that Berger "will help the Commission provide rigorous oversight of Wall Street and be a strong contributor to its overall mission of investor protection," while Steven Peikin said he is known as "a strong and effective leader who has a keen mind and sound judgment."

Calamari stepped down as director of the New York Regional Office in October after 17 years of service with the SEC. In January, he will join Finn Dixon & Herling as a partner in three practice groups: Government & Internal Investigations; Commercial Litigation; and Investment Advisers & Broker-Dealers. He said that the firm’s practice is a "perfect fit" for his background in enforcement and broker-dealer and investment adviser compliance. The firm’s announcement explains that Calamari will be working closely with Jeffrey Plotkin, also an alumnus of the SEC’s New York office, as well as former federal prosecutors Michael English and Alfred Pavlis.