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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Giovanni Prezioso Named SEC General Counsel

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C., April 3, 2002 — Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey L. Pitt announced today that the Commission has named Giovanni P. Prezioso to serve as general counsel, the Commission's chief legal officer and adviser.

Prezioso, 44, is a partner in the Washington office of the international law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton, where he has developed extensive securities law experience representing broker-dealers, banking institutions, investment managers and financial market trade associations.

"The investing public and the Commission will be incomparably represented by Giovanni, who has had remarkably broad experience in the private sector and who has demonstrated unparalleled creativity, thoughtfulness, intellectual excellence and sound practical wisdom," Pitt said. "We are very fortunate to have attracted someone of his unique talents."

Prezioso joined Cleary, Gottlieb as an associate in 1982, after receiving his law degree magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. He became a partner in the law firm in 1991. He received his bachelor's degree from Harvard College in 1979.

"The Commission's critical role in sustaining confidence in the U.S. and global securities markets has rarely been greater than today," Prezioso said. "Chairman Pitt's commitment to this mission, and his record of leadership and integrity, make this a compelling opportunity for me, with unique and irresistible appeal. I am honored that the Commission has invited me to play a part in addressing the many major issues of national and international significance currently on its agenda."

Prezioso will succeed David M. Becker, who has announced his intention to return to the private practice of law. Becker will leave the Commission on May 7, 2002. He was named general counsel in December 1999.

"David has served three chairmen with distinction, and has been the guiding intellectual and pragmatic force behind every major Commission initiative over the period of his tenure here," Pitt said. "I cannot imagine having had better professional counsel or a closer personal relationship with an outstanding colleague, lawyer and friend. We will all miss David and his intellect; I will also miss being buoyed by his wonderful sense of humor. We wish him the very best in his new endeavors."



Modified: 04/03/2002