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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Commissioner Laura S. Unger Announces Plans to Leave Commission



Washington, D.C., October 9, 2001 — Securities and Exchange Commission Commissioner Laura S. Unger today announced that she plans to leave the Commission this fall after almost a decade and a half of public service. Ms. Unger has not yet accepted a position in the private sector.

Since her appointment to the SEC, Ms. Unger has strongly advocated policies to promote market integrity, efficiency and investor protection, with a particular emphasis on the impact of technology on the securities industry. In November 1999, she authored a ground-breaking report on technology and retail brokerage, "Online Brokerage: Keeping Apace of Cyberspace."

While serving as Acting Chairman for the earlier half of this year, Ms. Unger led the Commission's efforts to improve the objectivity and independence of securities analysts. She also championed pending legislation to reduce securities transaction fees while raising SEC employee salaries to levels comparable to other financial regulatory agencies.

"It has been a great honor to serve on the Commission during the most dramatic period of technological innovation and transformation in the history of America's capital markets," Ms. Unger said. "I was privileged to return to the agency where I began my career, to serve as a Commissioner and later as Acting Chairman. Although it is particularly difficult to leave my colleagues on the Commission — our new Chairman, Harvey Pitt and my fellow Commissioner, Isaac Hunt — as well as the many dedicated and talented professionals who work tirelessly at the SEC on behalf of the investing public, it is time for me to seek new challenges in the private sector."

Harvey Pitt said, "I have known and admired Laura for many years. Long before she became a Commissioner, and long before I returned to the Commission, I was impressed with her judgment, intellect, dedication, and common sense. Over the past four years, Laura has served in stellar fashion, first as a member of the Commission, and then for half a year in the arduous and demanding role of Acting Chair. Her performance and leadership are well-known and appreciated by all. Her stewardship of the Commission was extraordinary, especially her relentless efforts to achieve pay parity for the Commission's staff. Over the past few months, I have also had the privilege and pleasure of becoming Laura's colleague. Watching her up close makes it clear to me that she is an exceptional public servant. I will miss Laura, but wish her the best in her post-Commission professional endeavors."

Commissioner Isaac Hunt said, "I am very sad that apparently I will be losing Commissioner Laura Unger as a colleague in the not too distant future. However, I am confident I will not be losing her as a friend. In serving with Laura over the past four years, I have been impressed with Laura's judgment, intellect, dedication, and common sense - as Chairman Pitt noted - and, not the least of which, her good humor. Laura served as an excellent Commissioner and a superb Acting Chair. I wish her every success in her future endeavors."

Ms. Unger was sworn in as Commissioner on November 5th, 1997. On February 12, 2001, President Bush designated her Acting Chairman, a position she held until August 3rd.

Before her appointment to the Commission, Ms. Unger served as Securities Counsel to the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban development where she advised the Chairman, Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato. Previously, Ms. Unger was an attorney with the SEC's Enforcement Division.

Ms. Unger lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband Peter Unger, a securities attorney, and their daughters, Simone and Natalie.

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Modified: 10/09/2001