SEC finally announces Director of Enforcement after misstep with Alex Oh

Rick Steves

“He has had a distinguished career as New Jersey’s chief law enforcement officer and as a prosecutor at both the local and federal levels”, said SEC Chair Gary Gensler.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has appointed Gurbir S. Grewal as Director of the Division of Enforcement, effective July 26, 2021.

The announcement comes two months after the SEC’s first choice for Director of Enforcement, Alex Oh, resigned following sharp criticism throughout the whole six days since taking office.

Ms. Oh gave in to mounting criticism from progressives over her past work as a corporate defense lawyer following a federal court ruling in a case involving one of her corporate clients, ExxonMobil.

Melissa Hodgman then returned to the role of Acting Director of the Division of Enforcement after holding that position from January through April.

Now she will be finally passing the torch to Gurbir S. Grewal, who currently serves as Attorney General for the State of New Jersey, a role he has held since January 2018.

“I’m honored and delighted to welcome Attorney General Grewal to the SEC,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “He has had a distinguished career as New Jersey’s chief law enforcement officer and as a prosecutor at both the local and federal levels. He has the ideal combination of experience, values, and leadership ability to helm the Enforcement Division at this critical time. I look forward to working closely with him to protect investors and root out wrongdoing in our markets.”

“I thank Melissa Hodgman for her service as the Enforcement Division’s Acting Director,” Chair Gensler added. “She will continue to be an important adviser to both Gurbir and me, and I look forward to our continued work together.”

Gurbir S. Grewal, Director of the Division of Enforcement at the SEC, commented: “The Enforcement Division has a critical role to play in finding and punishing violations of the law,” said Grewal. “I’m excited to get to work with the talented team of public servants to uncover and prosecute misconduct and protect investors. I thank Governor Murphy for the opportunity to serve the people of New Jersey and all of the colleagues with whom I’ve had the pleasure to work during my career in the state.”

Grewal currently serves as Attorney General for the State of New Jersey, heading the Department of Law & Public Safety, which employs more than 3,700 uniformed officers, 750 lawyers, and thousands of additional public servants.

Prior to that, Grewal served as Bergen County Prosecutor, the chief law enforcement office of New Jersey’s most populous county.

He was an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, where he served as Chief of the Economic Crimes Unit from 2014 to 2016 and oversaw the investigation and prosecution of all major white collar and cybercrimes in the District of New Jersey.

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