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Canellos And Ceresney Named Co-Chiefs of SEC Enforcement

SEC Co-Director George Canellos
This undated photo shows Securities and Exchange Commission co-Director George Canellos, when he was partner with the law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, during June 2009. Source: Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy via Bloomberg

George Canellos and Andrew Ceresney have been named co-directors of enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency said today.

Canellos has been acting director since January following the departure of Robert Khuzami, who held the post for the previous four years. Ceresney, a former prosecutor, has been a partner at law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York.

The two men will lead the enforcement unit as it shifts from investigations tied to the 2008 credit crisis toward areas such as high-frequency trading and accounting fraud. Canellos, 48, and Ceresney, 41, both previously worked as federal prosecutors for SEC Chairman Mary Jo White when she was U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“George and Andrew will be a formidable team and I am grateful to both of them for taking on this extremely important responsibility,” White said in a statement.

Canellos joined the SEC in 2009 as director of the New York office, where he oversaw the work of about 400 enforcement attorneys, accountants, investigators and examiners. Prior to joining the agency, he was a prosecutor in New York for nine years and a litigation partner at law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, for more than six years.

Canellos holds degrees from Harvard College and Columbia University School of Law.

Ceresney graduated from Columbia University in 1993 and also completed a law degree in 1996 at Yale Law School, where he was essays editor of the Yale Law Journal. He was a law clerk for Michael Mukasey at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York from 1997 to 1998 and then for Dennis Jacobs at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit the following year.

At Debevoise, Ceresney has represented some of Wall Street’s biggest companies and executives -- including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and former Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Ken Lewis -- in regulatory probes of their conduct during the financial crisis.

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