The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Louis Gracia and Vanessa Horton have been named Associate Directors of the Investment Adviser/Investment Company (IA/IC) examination program in the agency’s Chicago Regional Office. Together, Mr. Gracia and Ms. Horton will oversee more than 70 lawyers, accountants, and examiners responsible for inspections of SEC-registered investment advisers and investment companies in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Mr. Gracia has been a Deputy Associate Regional Director in the Chicago IA/IC examination program since January 2015. He joined the SEC’s Chicago Regional Office in 1994 as an Examiner and later served as an Exam Manager and Assistant Regional Director. Prior to joining the SEC, Mr. Gracia worked as an internal auditor for the University of Illinois. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is a certified public accountant in Illinois and a certified fraud examiner.
Ms. Horton has been an Assistant Regional Director in the Chicago IA/IC examination program since December 2015. She joined the SEC’s Chicago Regional Office in 2004 as an Accountant and was later named an Exam Manager. Prior to joining the SEC, Ms. Horton worked for more than 10 years in the securities industry, where she most recently held the roles of Executive Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer for a dually-registered broker dealer and investment adviser. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and master’s degree from DePaul University.
“Lou and Vanessa have been pillars of the Chicago IA/IC program during their respective 25 and 15 year careers here and have the experience, leadership and judgment to be outstanding leaders of the Chicago IA/IC program,” said Joel R. Levin, Director of the Chicago Regional Office. “Lou and Vanessa have demonstrated extraordinary leadership on numerous initiatives and programs at both the national and local level and their breadth of experience has prepared them well to serve as leaders of the Chicago IA/IC program.”
“Lou and Vanessa have demonstrated exceptional leadership and vision over the many years I have known them,” said Pete Driscoll, Director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE). “They are subject matter experts, thought leaders, and strong mentors to staff and have consistently contributed to the strong performance and reputation of the Chicago IA/IC exam program.”
“I am truly honored to take on this role and looking forward to working with Vanessa to lead the outstanding Chicago Regional Office IA/IC exam team,” said Mr. Gracia. “Although these are challenging times, I see a bright future for the SEC and our exam team.”
“I am blessed, humbled, and honored to be selected as an Associate Regional Director of Chicago’s IA/IC program and share in a leadership role with Lou to lead our phenomenal team,” said Ms. Horton. “Though it will be a new role, it has the same goal, one in which I have found a great privilege throughout the years—to protect investors—and I look forward to continuing our tradition of excellence in Chicago’s examination program.”
Mr. Gracia and Ms. Horton succeed Steven Levine who has taken a new role as Senior Special Counsel in the Chicago IA/IC program advising both the Chicago and National IA/IC examination programs. “I, along with the Chicago Regional Office, am deeply grateful to Steven for tremendous leadership of the Chicago IA/IC program for the past seven years and am excited that OCIE will continue to have the benefit of his wise counsel and thought leadership, particularly on a national level,” said Mr. Driscoll.
OCIE conducts the SEC’s National Examination Program through examinations of SEC-registered investment advisers, investment companies, broker-dealers, self-regulatory organizations, clearing agencies and transfer agents. It uses a risk-based approach to examinations to fulfill its mission to promote compliance with U.S. securities laws, prevent fraud, monitor risk and inform SEC policy.