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Key New Hires at the SEC
The National Law Journal
Chief counsel to SEC chair
Another veteran of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, Rice was appointed June 3 to serve as SEC Chairman Mary Jo White's senior legal and policy advisor. Most recently, Rice worked at Deutsche Bank A.G. in New York, where he was head of governance, litigation and regulation for the Americas. From 2000 to 2004, he was a partner at McDermott Will & Emery in New York.
Rice spent almost a decade at the Manhattan U.S. attorney's office, where he worked under White in the 1990s. He rose to become deputy chief of the Criminal Division, supervising 160 federal prosecutors.
Director of the Division of Corporation Finance
Deutsche Bank in recent years has had deep SEC connections. Former Enforcement Division head Robert Khuzami was the bank's general counsel for the Americas, and companywide general counsel Richard Walker is also a former head of the Enforcement Division.
Higgins, who has spent 30 years at Ropes & Gray, makes his first foray into public service as head of the 470-person Division of Corporation Finance, the chief watchdog over corporate disclosures. He replaces Meredith Cross, now a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, who left in December.
In private practice, Higgins advised companies such as biotech company Biogen Idec Inc. and luggage maker Samsonite International on acquisitions, and worked with Dunkin' Donuts parent company Dunkin' Brands Group Inc. as well as Synageva BioPharma Corp. on initial public offerings. He's also a past chair of the American Bar Association's Federal Regulation of Securities Committee.
When his SEC appointment was announced in May, White called him a "widely respected expert on the securities laws with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the many issues confronting the division." Higgins started work at the SEC on June 24.
Chief of staff
A former partner at Shearman & Sterling, Nallengara joined the SEC in 2011 and served as deputy director for legal and regulatory policy in the Division of Corporation Finance. He also served as acting head of the division for five months. White praised his "broad grasp of the agency's overall agenda and his understanding of the commission and its mission."
The chief of staff traditionally serves as a close adviser to the chair and oversees the agency's $1.3 billion budget. Former SEC chief of staff Didem Nisanci departed in December, joining Promontory Financial Group LLC as a managing director in April, several weeks before former SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro moved there as well.
Director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations
Bowden joined the SEC in 2011 and has served as deputy director of the 975-person office since September. As leader of the national exam program, Bowden will oversee inspections and examinations of SEC-registered investment advisers, investment companies, broker-dealers, self-regulatory organizations, clearing agencies and transfer agents.
He replaced Carlo di Florio, who quit in May to lead a new division of risk and strategy at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.
Bowden joined the SEC from Legg Mason Capital Management, where he served in various positions including general counsel.
The first woman to serve as the SEC's general counsel, Small joined the agency from the White House Counsel's Office, where since October 2011 she'd worked as special assistant to the president and associate counsel to the president. But the SEC is familiar turf. She previously served as deputy general counsel for litigation and adjudication. Small is also a former litigation partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. In appointing her, White praised her "experience, judgment, and tremendous talent." Small succeeded Geoffrey Aronow, who briefly served as general counsel before becoming a senior counsel to the chairman.
This article originally appeared in The National Law Journal.