US SEC Appoints Dan Berkovitz as New General Counsel

Michael Conley will serve as SEC's Acting General Counsel upon John Coates' departure.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Tuesday that Dan Berkovitz, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner, has been appointed as SEC General Counsel. According to the press release, it will be effective starting November 1, and John Coates will leave the agency in October.

Coates is expected to return to teaching at Harvard University, the SEC said. In the meantime, Michael Conley, who is currently serving as the SEC’s Solicitor, will work as the Acting General Counsel until Berkovitz starts the new role at the watchdog. “I had the opportunity to work with Dan at the CFTC, and I’m thrilled to once again work with him on matters essential to our financial markets. Dan is a dedicated public servant and was instrumental in both informing and implementing the Dodd-Frank Act. As General Counsel, he navigated the CFTC through dozens of rulemakings to enhance regulatory oversight of the swaps markets, and he has remained a steadfast public servant as a Commissioner. He will be invaluable in our work at the SEC,” Gary Gensler, US SEC Chairman, commented.

Berkovitz CFTC Background

The new SEC General Counsel has been working in the CFTC since September 2018, when the US Senate confirmed him as Commissioner. Prior to his role as Commissioner, he served as CFTC’s General Counsel from 2009 to 2013. Berkovitz earned an A.B. in Physics from Princeton University and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

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“I am honored to join the SEC at this critical time for our capital markets. Having worked with the SEC in my roles at the CFTC, I’ve long admired the dedicated and talented staff of the agency from afar. I’m excited to work again with Chair Gensler on a regulatory agenda that will enhance investor protection, strengthen our capital markets and facilitate capital formation,” Berkovitz said.

In June, the US SEC named Renee Jones as Director of the Division of Corporation Finance.

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