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SEC picks lawyer to head markets division

  Securities  -   POSTED: 2009/11/11 10:29

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission picked an outside lawyer to head its division responsible for overseeing brokerages, credit rating agencies and stock markets, the SEC said on Tuesday.

Robert Cook, 44, is currently a partner at law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, where he has been working since 1992.

Cook is expected to start in early 2010 as director of the SEC's division of trading and markets, where he will tackle controversial agency proposals such as one to curb short selling and reinstate an updated version of the 'uptick rule.'

His division will most likely be in charge of supervising a large section of the $450 trillion over-the-counter derivatives market.

Bills to regulate the private swaps industry are winding through the House of Representatives and on Tuesday, a draft Senate bill was made public that would clamp down on the financial instruments. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission would also gain authority over the opaque market blamed in part for exacerbating the financial crisis.

Cook has extensive experience working on swaps transactions, new financial products and structures as well as securities trading, the SEC said in a statement.


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