Revolving Door: Ex-SEC Enforcement Chief Joins KKR & Co.

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Bruce Karpati, the former chief of the Enforcement Division, Asset Management Unit of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), will join private equity firm KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR) as global compliance officer, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal based on information obtained from people with knowledge about the issue.

Karpati is transferring to KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR) from the mutual fund business of  Prudential Financial Inc (NYSE:PRU) where he served as chief compliance officer.

Karpati to replace H.J. Willcox at KKR

He will replace H.J. Willcox, the chief compliance officer of KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR) who resigned from his position last year and joined AQR Capital Management, the hedge fund founded and managed by Clifford Asness. Karpati is expected to start his job at KKR later this April.

KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR) is currently managed by its co-founders Henry Kravis and George Roberts. It started as a takeover firm almost 40 years ago. The privately equity firm has offices worldwide and it has $126.5 billion in total investments as of December 31, 2013.

Led SEC investigations

Karpati left the SEC after more than a decade of federal service in May last year. During his tenure at the agency, he supervised more than 75 staff including attorneys, industry experts, and other professionals responsible for investigating investment advisers, investment companies, and private funds.

He spearheaded the investigation of different forms of misconduct involving valuation, performance, conflicts of interest, insider trading, manipulation, derivatives, fund governance, the 15(c) process, disclosure, and compliance and controls.

Some of the enforcement actions of the Asset Management Unit of SEC under the leadership of Karpati include a complaint filed against three AXA Rosenberg entities for misleading investors about the impact of a software error; a complaint against Yorkville Advisors LLC and its two executives concerning scheming to overvalue assets under management and exaggerate the reported returns of the hedge funds they managed.

He started his career at the SEC as a staff attorney in 2000 and was promoted over the years until he became chief of the Enforcement Division, Asset Management Unit.  According to the regulator, Karpati was instrumental in establishing the Asset Management Unit and formulating its strategic and operating plans, setting unit priorities, hiring industry experts, and building its infrastructure.

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