The Securities and Exchange Commission today named Keith F. Higgins as the new director of the agency’s Division of Corporation Finance.
Mr. Higgins comes to the SEC from the law firm of Ropes & Gray LLP where he is a partner in its Boston office with 30 years of experience advising public companies about securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, compliance, and corporate governance. Mr. Higgins also has regularly advised underwriters in IPOs and other public equity offerings. He will begin his new position next month.
“Keith is a widely-respected expert on the securities laws with a wealth of knowledge and experience in the many issues confronting the Division,” said Mary Jo White, Chair of the SEC. “He understands and appreciates the importance of our disclosure laws in helping to ensure that investors get the information they need to make informed investment decisions.”
Mr. Higgins added, “During my 30 years of private practice, I have seen firsthand the talent and dedication of the staff of the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance. It is an honor for me to have the opportunity to serve as its director. The Commission has an ambitious rulemaking agenda that will be my first priority, and I look forward to continuing to move that agenda forward.”
The Division of Corporation Finance seeks to ensure that investors are provided with material information in order to make informed investment decisions, both when a company initially offers its securities to the public and on an ongoing basis. The Division also reviews filings and provides interpretive assistance help companies meet their disclosure obligations, and makes recommendations to the Commission about new rules or updates to current rules.
Mr. Higgins, who began working at Ropes & Gray in 1983, has been a frequent writer and lecturer on securities law, executive compensation, and corporate governance. He is a past chair of the Federal Regulation of Securities Committee of the American Bar Association.
Mr. Higgins, 61, earned his B.A. at Florida State University (Phi Beta Kappa) and his M.A. at the University of Virginia. He earned his law degree (summa cum laude) from Boston University School of Law, and he clerked for the Honorable Herbert P. Wilkins in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.
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Lona Nallengara, who was serving as acting director of the Division of Corporation Finance since December 2012, has been named the SEC’s chief of staff.