The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that two more of its top officials will be leaving the agency. Trading and markets director Robert W. Cook and general counsel Mark D. Cahn are the latest to exit the agency, following on the heels of Meredith Cross, the agency’s corporate finance director, who announced her departure on Tuesday, and chairperson Mary L. Schapiro, who resigned last week.
Cook has served as the trading and markets director at the SEC for almost three years. He led the change in Wall Street rules after the JOBS Act and Dodd-Frank. He also was at the helm during the May 2010 “flash crash” and played a major role in doing damage control during that financial disaster. In that market crash hundreds of stocks plummeted all at the same time.
Cook was also responsible for heading up the construction of a computer framework to help the agency track trades across various markets. He is expected to leave the SEC after he helps his successor step into his role. Some speculate that James Burns, who currently serves as Cook’s deputy, could end up taking over his post.
Cahn is credited with helping develop a reward system for whistle-blowers and also helped with the Dodd-Frank Act. He is expected to leave the agency at the end of this year so that he can go back to the private sector.
As DealBook points out, we could see even more top SEC officials leave the agency in the coming weeks. When Schapiro leaves next week, Democrat Elisse B. Walter is set to step into her shoes, but only on a temporary basis. Robert Khuzami reportedly wants the post. It’s expected he will leave the agency if he doesn’t get the position, and industry insiders say he is unlikely to be appointed to it.