SEC appoints new OCIE chief risk officer

SEC veteran James Reese had been serving as acting chief risk and strategy officer for the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has appointed James Reese as the new chief risk and strategy officer of its Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations.

Reese will lead the Office of Risk and Strategy which was established in 2016 to consolidate OCIE’s risk assessment, market surveillance, large firm monitoring and quantitative analysis teams, and provide operational risk management and organizational strategy for the National Exam Program.

He will be responsible for supporting the NEP in its identification of risks and emerging issues in the financial markets, exam targeting and selection efforts, resource allocation, and investment in quantitative-based examination initiatives, the SEC said.

Peter Driscoll, director of the OCIE, said Reese is “a strong, talented leader with a depth of experience, background, and expertise that is a valuable asset to the Commission and to OCIE.” Driscoll led the Office of Risk and Strategy after its establishment in March 2016.

Reese joined the SEC in 1999 as an examiner in the Investment Adviser/Investment Company program, later serving as a branch chief, senior staff accountant and assistant director in the OCIE’s Office of Risk Analysis and Surveillance.

Reese’s appointment follows the SEC’s $1.6 billion budget request earlier this year which it said would allow it to restore positions lost since a hiring freeze and to add new positions, including the new chief risk officer.

In its most recent risk alert the OCIE focused on advisor billing practices, an intervention which one law firm said was intended to “put the industry on notice.”

In February the SEC released its national exam priorities and industry experts said they indicated that the agency’s rulemaking and enforcement strategy is picking up momentum following a significant increase in examinations from 2016 to 2017.