February 22, 2016 / 12:07 PM / 4 years ago

Debevoise hires a former SEC asset-management enforcement chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Debevoise & Plimpton has recruited former Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement attorney Julie Riewe to serve as a partner for the firm’s white collar and regulatory defense practice, the firm announced on Monday.

Riewe, who will start her new position on March 28, began her career at the SEC in 2005. Most recently, she was co-chief of the SEC’s asset-management enforcement unit, which investigates mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, hedge funds, investment advisers and private equity funds.

In that capacity, she helped oversee cases against a wide array of well-known firms, among them Blackstone, BlackRock, and JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Riewe is now the second attorney hired at Debevoise who previously helped run the asset management unit. In 2012, the firm hired Robert Kaplan, who served as co-chief of the unit when it was created in 2010.

Debevoise already employs at least three attorneys who once worked for the SEC, according to a firm spokesman. The SEC’s current chair, Mary Jo Whitem, and SEC Enforcement Director Andrew Ceresney previously worked there.

The SEC’s asset management unit is one of five specialized groups created in 2010. The unit is known for its forward-looking approach to enforcement, which involves ferreting out cases using a data-driven approach.

One initiative, for instance, looks into aberrational performances by hedge funds claiming to generate extremely high rates of return.

The unit has also policed conflicts of interest and investigated undisclosed and misallocated fees and expenses at private equity funds, a problem first uncovered by SEC examiners a few years ago.

“Adding a partner of Julie’s caliber expands Debevoise’s role as the go-to law firm for asset management enforcement,” Debevoise Deputy Presiding Partner Bruce E. Yannett said in a statement.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch, editing by Larry King

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