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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

General Counsel Brian Cartwright Leaving SEC to Return to Private Sector


Washington, D.C., Nov. 20, 2008 — The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that its General Counsel, Brian G. Cartwright, has informed the Commission that he plans to return to the private sector. During his tenure, he helped shape the Commission’s major policy and regulatory initiatives and counseled the Commission on virtually every matter that came before it, including enforcement actions, rulemakings, appellate briefs and adjudications.

“Brian has been an extraordinary leader of the SEC over the last three years,” said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. “From the mergers of the NYSE and Euronext and NASDAQ-OMX to the creation of FINRA, the complete overhaul of executive compensation disclosure, the replacement of EDGAR with IDEA, and, more recently — in the cauldron of the credit crisis — the consideration of tough new rules on credit rating agencies, a strict ban on naked short selling, and a plan for new transparency of credit default swaps, Brian has been indispensable. Above all, he has helped the SEC set enforcement records, with over $50 billion in pending settlements for the benefit of investors. As the economy has faced historic challenges, Brian has helped shape the SEC’s actions to reassure investors and stabilize the markets. He has rendered outstanding public service, and the nation’s investors and markets are fortunate to have had the benefit of his wisdom and good judgment.”

Mr. Cartwright said, “It has been a great privilege to have served alongside the many dedicated and talented staff members throughout the agency. I owe an eternal debt of gratitude to Chairman Cox for honoring me with the opportunity to serve in this capacity. I want particularly to express my profound appreciation to the exceptional lawyers who have served with me in the Office of the General Counsel — their boundless enthusiasm, unparalleled professionalism and unceasing devotion to the rule of law have inspired me on a daily basis.”

To help assure continuity, Mr. Cartwright will remain with the Commission for a period of time, during which he will not entertain private sector employment opportunities so that he may continue to serve the Commission on the full range of matters before it.

Mr. Cartwright, 61, became General Counsel on Jan. 23, 2006. Before that, he was a partner in the international law firm of Latham & Watkins, where he had served as Global Chair of the firm’s practice representing public companies and as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He began his legal career in 1980 after earning a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was President of the Harvard Law Review and winner of the Sears Prize. He served as law clerk to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the United States Supreme Court, and prior to that, as law clerk to U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Malcolm R. Wilkey of the D.C. Circuit.

Mr. Cartwright’s previous career was as an astrophysicist. Following his graduation from Yale University in 1967, he earned a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Chicago in 1971. From 1973 to 1977 he was a Research Physicist at the Department of Physics and Space Sciences Laboratory of the University of California, Berkeley.



Modified: 11/20/2008