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U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

Robert Colby, Deputy Director of Trading and Markets Division, to Leave SEC After 27 Years Of Service


Washington, D.C., Feb. 2, 2009 — The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that Robert L.D. Colby, Deputy Director of the Division of Trading and Markets, will leave the agency in February to join the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell in its Washington, D.C. office.

Since coming to the Commission 27 years ago, Mr. Colby has helped lead the development and implementation of investor protection policies, rules and interpretations governing broker-dealers, securities markets, clearance and settlement systems, and transfer agents.

“I’ve had the honor and privilege of knowing and working with Bob Colby for more than 20 years and I’ve always appreciated and admired his keen intellect and expertise, and his sincere dedication to public service and investor protection,” said SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro. “While we will greatly miss him and wish he would stay, Bob’s legacy will long remain a vibrant part of the Commission and its work on behalf of investors.”

Erik Sirri, Director of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, added, “For more than 27 years, Bob Colby has brought expertise, wisdom, and leadership to the work of the Division. In so many ways, we have all relied on Bob’s judgment and guidance, and his departure will leave a gap in the Division that will be tremendously difficult to fill.”

Mr. Colby said, “I have been truly fortunate for more than a quarter-century to serve at an agency dedicated to the interests of investors and the capital markets. I have worked with, and learned from, brilliant securities professionals who were committed to the public interest. I am proud of the work of the Division over the years, and believe it has made the securities markets safer for investors. I will miss this important work, as well as my friends and colleagues at the SEC.”

Mr. Colby joined the SEC staff in 1981 as a Staff Attorney in the Division, and he was promoted to Chief Counsel in 1986 and Deputy Director in 1993. He served as Acting Director of the Division of Market Regulation from August 2005 to September 2006.

Mr. Colby has directed or participated in all of the major actions of the Division in the last decade and a half, including the major equity market changes of Regulation NMS, Regulation ATS, the Order Handling Rules and the Execution Quality Rule. Mr. Colby also helped lead efforts to implement Regulation R’s bank broker exemptions; Rule 15a-6’s exemption of foreign broker-dealers; the securities research analyst settlement and rules; changes to net capital rules; the short sale rules; and the credit rating agency rules. He worked closely with other financial agencies in the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, and coordinated closely with the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Treasury Department, and CFTC in the recent market crises and many prior occasions.

In 2000, Mr. Colby received the Distinguished Government Executive Award (the highest government-wide award for Senior Executives), and in 1998 he received the Meritorious Government Executive Award. In 1998, Mr. Colby also received the SEC’s Distinguished Service Award. Over the years, Mr. Colby received the SEC’s Capital Markets Award, Chairman’s Award for Excellence, Law and Policy Award, and Supervisory Excellence Award. He graduated with a B.A with highest honors from Bowdoin College, and a J.D with honors from Harvard Law School

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Modified: 02/02/2009