SEC Inspections Chief's Hiring Priorities

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The new head of the SEC's compliance inspections office says he aims to recruit people with knowledge of trading strategies, risk management and quantitative analytics, as his team strives to right its reputation after failing to root out Bernard Madoff's crooked investment business.

Carlo V. di Florio, a partner in PricewaterhouseCoopers' financial services regulatory practice, was named this week as director of the the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. That office conducts nationwide examinations of investment advisers, broker-dealers, mutual funds, credit rating agencies, self-regulatory organizations and other entities.

Poor communications within that office and between it and the SEC's Enforcement Division are blamed for allowing Madoff's $65 billion Ponzi scheme to avoid official detection for more than a decade. A report by SEC Inspector General David Kotz found the agency had investigated Madoff's brokerage business five times since 1992 but had never examined Madoff's separate hedge fund operation, where the fraud took place.

Current Openings at SEC

The Madoff scandal was followed by the departure of several high-level SEC officials including both former inspections director Lori Richards and former enforcement director Linda Thomsen. John Walsh, who was associate director and chief counsel of the inspections office, has served as acting director since Richards departed last August.

In an SEC press release, di Florio says his team will "work together to strengthen our examination strategy, structure, training programs, processes and systems, while also recruiting colleagues with valuable new skill sets, including trading strategies, risk management and quantitative analytics."

The government's jobs Web site lists 17 current openings at the SEC, excluding summer positions for undergraduate, law and MBA program students. The openings include two compliance examiner slots in New York and one in Chicago. (However, the Chicago slot is restricted to current SEC employees).

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