Washington, D.C., Nov. 30, 2005 – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Giovanni Prezioso, General Counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission, announced today that he will leave the Commission to return to the private sector. Prezioso, 47, was named General Counsel in April 2002. He has not yet accepted another position and will remain at the Commission until early 2006 to assist with transition matters.
“On behalf of the Commission, American investors, and myself, I want to recognize Giovanni for his stalwart service,” Chairman Cox said. “The unique role of the General Counsel of the SEC, and the personal respect Giovanni has earned in that post, was demonstrated in abundance at the roundtable for former SEC General Counsels that the Commission held on November 17 of this year, at which his integrity, professionalism, and dedication to the SEC’s mission of investor protection were praised by every participant. Giovanni’s service at the SEC has coincided with the most significant expansion of the agency and the most important enlargement of our authority since the Commission’s earliest years. When the next chapter of the SEC’s history is written, Giovanni Prezioso will rightfully occupy a prominent place. He has earned my gratitude and respect for his immense contributions.”
Prezioso said, “It has been a great privilege to serve under the leadership of three distinguished Commission Chairmen, and to work with a truly exceptional group of colleagues in the General Counsel’s Office and throughout the Commission. Though it had been my hope to return to the private sector earlier this year, it has been a particular honor to work with Chairman Cox as he has assumed his new responsibilities in office, as well as with former Chairmen Donaldson and Pitt. I am proud to have played a part as an advocate for the interests of U.S. investors during this historic period for the Commission and our capital markets.”
Prezioso served as the Commission’s chief legal officer during a time of unprecedented enforcement and regulatory activity. During his tenure, the Office of the General Counsel reviewed and provided legal advice to the Commission on over 2000 enforcement actions and over 100 rulemaking proceedings.
His Office was responsible for coordinating the Commission’s successful implementation of the extensive rulemaking requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 within the strict timeframes set by Congress. The Office also drafted regulations under the Act that established, for the first time, formal Commission standards of professional conduct for attorneys representing public companies.
Prezioso led an initiative to revitalize the Commission’s amicus program, with numerous submissions to the federal courts on critical policy issues, including federal preemption of state law, the requirements of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and the standards for liability in private actions under the federal securities laws. Important appellate decisions in party and amicus matters included favorable Supreme Court opinions in SEC v. Edwards and in Dura Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Broudo.
In addition, under Prezioso’s supervision, the General Counsel’s Office eliminated a multi-year backlog of administrative appeals and met substantially accelerated Commission deadlines for the issuance of opinions in adjudicative matters.