The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Walter E. Jospin, Regional Director of the agency’s Atlanta office, is leaving the agency. Mr. Jospin will remain in his position until his successor is selected.
“Walter and I met many years ago and I was taken with his wisdom, expertise, and care. He has brought those and many other fine characteristics to the Commission,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. “We all are grateful that Walter re-entered public service after a distinguished career in the private sector, and his contributions to the Atlanta office and the Commission have been exemplary.”
Since February 2015, Mr. Jospin has led a staff of approximately 100 attorneys, accountants, compliance examiners, and other specialists involved in compliance inspections and the investigation and prosecution of SEC enforcement actions in the Atlanta region. Under Mr. Jospin’s supervision, the Atlanta office brought charges involving investment advisers, financial and disclosure fraud, insider trading, and those targeting retail investors, including:
- The investment services subsidiary of SunTrust Banks for collecting more than $1.1 million in fees from clients by improperly recommending more expensive mutual fund share classes when cheaper shares of the same funds were available
- KPMG LLP and an engagement partner, who agreed to pay more than $6.2 million for failing to properly audit the financial statements of an oil-and-gas company charged with accounting fraud
- Four Atlanta-area brokers for fraudulently inducing federal employees to roll over holdings in their federal Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) retirement accounts into higher-fee, variable annuity products
- Certain unknown traders who used brokerage accounts in London and Singapore to reap more than $3.6 million in alleged illegal insider trading profits ahead of the announcement that Japan-based Softbank Group Corp. agreed to acquire Fortress Investment Group LLC
- A Tennessee-based lawyer who served on the board of directors of Nashville-based Pinnacle Financial Partners for illegal insider trading in the shares of an acquisition target done while board members were meeting to discuss the acquisition
- A Nashville, Tenn.-based investment advisory firm and its owner for scheming to collect extra monthly fees from a pair of hedge funds they managed
- Fraud charges against 11 former executives and board members at Superior Bank and its holding company for scheming to conceal the extent of loan losses as the bank was faltering in the wake of the financial crisis
Also under Mr. Jospin’s watch, the Atlanta office’s exam staff has increased collaboration with enforcement and generated substantial referrals, including those that led to several of the actions referenced above.
“Walter has been an insightful and innovative leader of the Atlanta office, and the office and the Enforcement Division have benefited from his experience and sound judgment,” said Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “He has led the Atlanta office to great success, and he will be sorely missed.”
“Walter’s work to implement positive changes in Atlanta and across the national examination program will have lasting impact,” said Pete Driscoll, Acting Director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations. “It has been a privilege to work with Walter.”
Mr. Jospin added, “Serving as Director of the Atlanta Regional Office has been an extraordinary opportunity, second only to working as an SEC enforcement lawyer early in my career. Both experiences have given me the chance to work with smart, talented people committed to the Commission’s mission. The SEC is an outstanding agency, and I will miss my wonderful colleagues. It has indeed been an honor to lead the Atlanta office.”
Mr. Jospin joined the SEC from the law firm of Paul Hastings LLP, where he was a long-time partner in the Atlanta office with a practice focusing on securities enforcement, internal investigations, corporate transactions, and corporate governance. Mr. Jospin previously worked in the SEC Enforcement Division from 1980 to 1983 in the Atlanta office. He graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and from the Emory University School of Law.