The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Sharon B. Binger, Director of the Philadelphia Regional Office, will leave the agency at the end of the year. Following her departure, G. Jeffrey Boujoukos, the Philadelphia office’s Associate Regional Director for Enforcement, will serve as Regional Director.
Ms. Binger has headed the Philadelphia office since February 2014, overseeing a staff of more than 150 attorneys, accountants, and other professionals responsible for conducting investigations, litigation, and examinations in a region covering Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.
“Sharon exemplifies the high standards of leadership we set at the agency – tough but fair enforcement, inspiring leadership, and impactful results,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White. “The public has benefited from her deep commitment to protecting investors.”
Ms. Binger said, “It has been an incredible honor and a joy to lead the Philadelphia Regional Office and its dedicated and talented staff. I am grateful to have had this opportunity and I am very proud of the high quality, innovative work we have accomplished together.”
During Ms. Binger’s tenure, the SEC’s Philadelphia Office filed dozens of enforcement matters involving a variety of securities law violations, including the SEC’s charges against:
- Two brokers who traded on inside information ahead of the $1.2 billion acquisition of SPSS Inc. in 2009 by IBM Corp.
- An investment advisory firm that failed to properly prepare clients for additional transaction costs beyond the “wrap fees” they pay to cover the cost of several services bundled together
- Nationwide Life Insurance Company for routinely violating pricing rules in its daily processing of purchase and redemption orders for variable insurance contracts and underlying mutual funds
- Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC for submitting deficient information to the SEC over a two-year period about trades done by its customers, commonly referred to as “blue sheet data”
The Philadelphia office also is litigating the SEC’s charges against dozens of defendants for taking part in a scheme to profit from stolen nonpublic information about corporate earnings announcements. The Philadelphia office is leading the SEC’s continuing litigation, where the agency has obtained $53 million in settlements from 13 defendants.
“Sharon’s creativity and vision, along with her steady leadership, have been critical to the success of the Philadelphia office’s enforcement program,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “She instituted significant changes to the office, diversifying the office’s docket and energizing the staff, resulting in important and path-breaking cases.”
Ms. Binger also helped bring about successful changes in the structure and processes of the exam program. She put in place initiatives to instill a more risk-focused approached to examinations and adapt the program to the large influx of newly-registered hedge fund managers and private equity funds under the Dodd-Frank Act.
“Sharon has been an outstanding leader for the exam program in the Philadelphia Regional Office. She has been a strong advocate for investors and delivered on OCIE’s Four Pillars of promoting compliance, preventing fraud, informing policy and monitoring risk,” said Marc Wyatt, Director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations.
Ms. Binger joined the SEC’s Enforcement Division in 2008. She was promoted to assistant regional director in the SEC’s New York Office in 2011. Prior to her arrival at the SEC, she spent seven years in private practice with a large international law firm. Ms. Binger graduated from Northwestern University in 1998 and earned her law degree with honors from Duke University School of Law in 2001.