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Kelly L. Gibson Named Director of SEC's Philadelphia Office


Washington D.C., Feb. 27, 2020 —

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Kelly L. Gibson has been named Director of the Philadelphia Regional Office.

Ms. Gibson joined the SEC in 2008 as a staff attorney in the Division of Enforcement in the Philadelphia office. When the division was reorganized in 2010, she joined the Market Abuse Unit. In 2013, she was promoted to Assistant Regional Director and then to Associate Regional Director of the Philadelphia office in 2017. In her new role, Ms. Gibson will lead a staff of approximately 160 enforcement attorneys, accountants, and investigators who investigate and enforce the federal securities laws nationwide, and examiners who perform compliance inspections in the Philadelphia region. The Philadelphia office has jurisdiction over nearly 1,200 investment advisers and investment companies with over $10 trillion in assets under management, over 65 mutual fund complexes, and over 240 broker-dealers with over 14,500 branch offices.

During her career with the SEC, Ms. Gibson has investigated or supervised dozens of enforcement matters involving a variety of securities law violations, including cases against:

  • Dozens of defendants for taking part in a $100 million international scheme to profit from stolen nonpublic information about corporate earnings announcements;
  • Defendants who engaged in a Ponzi-like scheme, raising more than $345 million from over 230 investors across the United States;
  • Pennsylvania investment adviser for operating a $100 million investment advisory fraud; 
  • Pakistani trader, a Bulgarian trader, and a Virginia-based mechanical engineer who each sought to manipulate stocks through false regulatory filings;
  • BB&T Securities, which agreed to return more than $5 million after settling charges that a firm it acquired misled clients about its directed brokerage practices;
  • BP p.l.c. for fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions in its SEC filings relating to the amount of oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent leak; and
  • Insider traders, including an investment banker who tipped a professional football player in advance of corporate acquisitions; an investment banker who tipped his father about future mergers and acquisitions deals; and an accountant and her friend, whom she illegally tipped with confidential information in advance of quarterly performance announcements.

"Through her experience, innovation, and keen analytical sense, Kelly has made significant contributions to combating fraud and protecting investors," said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. "Kelly's dedication to the SEC's mission will be invaluable in furthering our investor protection efforts, and we are fortunate to have her lead the talented and dedicated team of women and men in our Philadelphia office."

"Kelly is a talented lawyer and an inspiring leader," said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement. "We are thrilled that she has agreed to take on this new role and we are confident that the Philadelphia Regional Office will continue to flourish under her leadership."

"In her nearly 12 years at the SEC, Kelly has demonstrated fairness, excellent judgment and an unwavering dedication to protecting our markets and our investors," said Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement. "Her skills as a leader and extensive experience will serve her well in her new role."

"Kelly has been a tireless advocate for investors and has skillfully led the enforcement program in the Philadelphia Regional Office," said Pete Driscoll, Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. "We are excited that she will now also lead our accomplished examination staff in Philadelphia and we look forward to working with her."

Ms. Gibson said, "I am honored to have been selected to serve as the head of the Philadelphia office. I know firsthand the commitment and excellence of the Philadelphia enforcement and examination staff and look forward to leading our office's efforts to protect retail investors and ensure fair and orderly markets."

Before joining the SEC staff in 2008, Ms. Gibson worked as a litigation associate for the law firm of Ballard Spahr LLP in Philadelphia. She earned her law degree with honors from Villanova University School of Law and her Bachelor of Arts degree with high honors from Rowan University. Ms. Gibson received the SEC's Analytical Methods award in 2016.


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