By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON Dec 5 The U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission said on Wednesday that two more major
regulators will be leaving the agency.
The SEC said Robert Cook, the director of the Trading and
Markets Division, and Mark Cahn, the agency's general counsel,
will be departing.
Wednesday's announcement marks the third and fourth major
resignations at the SEC in less than two weeks. SEC Chairman
Mary Schapiro said last week that she will step down on Dec. 14.
The SEC announced on Tuesday that Corporation Finance Director
Meredith Cross was also leaving.
It is not unusual for government agencies to experience
turnover after a presidential election, but coping with the
volume of high-level departures could be challenging for the SEC
and its incoming chairman, commissioner Elisse Walter, who was
tapped by the White House to replace Schapiro.
The agency is pushing to finalize a host of rules required
by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, while balancing its
own initiatives, including money market fund reform and cracking
down on computerized trading.
Many of the rules that still need to be completed are being
written by staffers in the Trading and Markets Division, such as
regulations for the over-the-counter derivatives markets and
The SEC said Cahn will depart at the end of the year to
return to the private sector. He has served as general counsel
since February 2011 and was instrumental in setting up the
agency's whistleblower program.
Cook, who joined the agency in January 2010, will remain at
the SEC for a transitional period.
Cook's Division of Trading and Markets oversees securities
exchanges and markets, broker-dealers, clearing agencies,
derivatives, and FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory
He was central to the agency's response to the May 2010
"flash crash" when the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged
about 700 points before rebounding.
The SEC has put in place new circuit breakers and erroneous
trade break rules after the flash crash and is considering
broader market structure reforms.