UPDATE 1-U.S. SEC names acting heads of enforcement

Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:43pm EST

WASHINGTON Jan 31 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday named temporary leadership in its enforcement division, as the agency works through significant turnover after the election.

George Canellos, who is now a deputy in the division, will take over as acting head of enforcement effective Feb. 8, the SEC said in Thursday.

David Bergers, who heads the SEC's Boston office, will take over as acting deputy director of enforcement.

The SEC lost some of its top leadership after Chairman Mary Schapiro stepped down at the end of last year.

Current SEC enforcement director Robert Khuzami announced his departure earlier this month. At the time, insiders had described Canellos and Bergers as likely candidates for the job.

Any permanent new director will likely not be named until Congress approves Mary Jo White, President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the commission in his second term.

"George's proven intellectual abilities and creative approach to problem-solving have made him an extremely effective advocate for investors and make him ideally suited to serve as Acting Director," Elisse Walter, who is serving as SEC chairman, said in a statement.

Canellos, 48, also led the SEC's New York office and worked as a federal prosecutor there under White, a former U.S. Attorney. Some SEC watchers have suggested that he could remain as director of the enforcement division under White.

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