Washington D.C., Aug. 19, 2020 —
The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Richard R. Best has been named Director of the New York Regional Office. Mr. Best will succeed Marc P. Berger, who has been named Deputy Director of the Division of Enforcement.
Mr. Best joined the SEC in June 2015 as the Regional Director of the SEC’s Salt Lake Office, and in 2018, he was named Regional Director of its Atlanta Office. In his new role, Mr. Best will lead a team of approximately 400 staff, including enforcement attorneys, accountants, and investigators who investigate and enforce the federal securities laws nationwide and examiners who perform compliance inspections in the New York region. The New York Regional Office is responsible for the largest concentration of SEC-registered financial institutions, including more than 4,000 investment banks, investment advisers, broker-dealers, mutual funds, and hedge funds.
“Richard has been a remarkable leader of two SEC regional offices. During his tenure in both Salt Lake and Atlanta, he has demonstrated a remarkable ability to effectively pursue the unique needs of the region, always with a keen eye on investor protection and market integrity,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. “Richard has also been a key part of many of the SEC’s agency-wide efforts to connect with investors in new and meaningful ways. I look forward to the many successes his leadership and investor-first focus will bring to the New York Regional Office.”
“Richard is widely respected for being a talented lawyer and a strong leader, and I am thrilled that he has agreed to take on this new role,” said Stephanie Avakian, Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “He is a wonderful colleague and I look forward to continuing to work closely with him as he leads the New York Regional Office.”
“Richard has distinguished himself as a strong leader across both Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) and Enforcement in each regional office he has led. His exceptional prior experience and performance leading those offices, as well as his outstanding legal experiences prior to his time at the Commission, make him an outstanding choice to lead our women and men of the New York Regional Office,” said Pete Driscoll, Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. “We in OCIE congratulate him and look forward to continuing to have the benefit of Richard’s talents in his newest leadership role.”
Mr. Best said, “I am excited and honored to join the New York Regional Office. During my time at the SEC, I have collaborated with the New York office and its incredibly talented and dedicated examinations and enforcement staff and look forward to leading their efforts to protect investors and ensure fair and orderly markets.”
Under Mr. Best’s stewardship, the Atlanta office has investigated and litigated a number of impactful enforcement cases, including the Commission’s actions against:
- A former chief information officer of an Equifax business unit with insider trading in advance of the company’s September 2017 announcement about a massive data breach that exposed the personal information of approximately 148 million U.S. customers;
- SCANA Corp., two of its former top executives, and South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. with defrauding investors by allegedly making false and misleading statements about a nuclear power plant expansion that was ultimately abandoned;
- Turbo Global Partners Inc. and its CEO for allegedly making false and misleading press releases claiming to offer products to combat the COVID-19 virus; and
- Madison Timber Properties LLC and its principal in connection with an alleged $85 million offering fraud.
Mr. Best joined the SEC from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in New York, where he was a senior director and chief counsel in its Department of Enforcement. Mr. Best previously held other supervisory and investigative positions within FINRA’s Enforcement function. He also spent approximately 10 years as a prosecutor in the Office of the Bronx County District Attorney, where he handled and supervised high-profile public integrity and organized crime prosecutions, among other matters. He earned his law degree from the Howard University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York, College at Old Westbury.