The SEC named Linda Chatman Thomsen director of the division of enforcement. Thomsen joined the SEC in 1995 and has served as the enforcement division's deputy director since 2002. She succeeds Stephen Cutler, who announced in April that he would be leaving the SEC.
"There are those that suggest that there will be an easing up at the SEC [with Cutler's departure]," says Carlo di Florio, director of the governance, risk and compliance practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. "But, I think that if you look at his team, Linda Thomsen is very strong, and she's very capable of continuing his [mission]."
Cutler joined the SEC in 2001 and oversaw investigations of financial fraud at Enron and WorldCom. During his tenure, the SEC obtained judgments in enforcement actions totaling more than $6 billion in penalties, approximately $4.5 billion of which is being returned to harmed investors. "Cutler really came into that position in a unique moment in history when there was so much focus on enforcement and the need to restore trust in the capital markets," says di Florio. "It will be a challenge just to fill his shoes."