Washington, D.C., Sept. 7, 2005 — LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Securities and Exchange Commission Chief Accountant Donald T. Nicolaisen announced he will leave the Commission in October 2005 to return to the private sector.
Nicolaisen, 61, joined the Commission as Chief Accountant in September 2003 and led numerous initiatives to improve financial disclosure, strengthen the audit process and rebuild investor confidence.
“Don Nicolaisen has served with distinction during challenging times, and has met every challenge—most notably by establishing landmark new protections for investors during the implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley,” said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox. “I’m pleased that he has agreed to remain at the SEC long enough to help the agency search for a successor and continue to build on his work for investors and for all who benefit from healthy capital markets.”
“Over the last two years I have had the great privilege of working with a highly talented and motivated staff. They are a terrific group working toward the same basic goal – representing the interests of investors,” Nicolaisen said. “So while I look forward to my return to the private sector, it is not easy to leave this great institution and the professional and personal friendships that I have forged with my colleagues and staff. I am also honored to have served under the leadership of Chairmen Christopher Cox and William Donaldson and I am very proud of what we have accomplished and the steps we have taken to protect investors and to provide stability to our markets. I look forward to working with Chairman Cox to manage an effective transition for my successor however best I can.”
As Chief Accountant, Nicolaisen forged a close working relationship with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board to fully implement sections of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. He worked closely with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and international standard setters toward eventual convergence of accounting standards.
Nicolaisen also played a key role in the Commission’s efforts to embrace new technologies for the betterment of investors. These efforts include the implementation of a pilot program allowing companies to submit data voluntarily using eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), which turns text-based information into documents that can be retrieved, searched and analyzed through automated means.
Prior to joining the Commission, Mr. Nicolaisen was a senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) where he held a wide range of management and leadership positions since joining the firm’s predecessor, Price Waterhouse (PW), in 1967. Between 1988 and 1994, he led PW’s national office for accounting and SEC services. During that time, he was also a member of the Emerging Issues Task Force of the Financial Accounting Standards Board. He later chaired PW’s financial services practice for broker-dealers, investment banking, mutual funds, banking, insurance and real estate. Mr. Nicolaisen was elected to PW’s board of partners in 1994. He served on PW’s international board and PwC’s global and international boards. He helped lead the merger of PW and Coopers & Lybrand to become PwC, and participated in the firm’s decision to exit its consulting business.
Mr. Nicolaisen received his B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater, and has been a Certified Public Accountant since 1969. He and his wife, Sandie, have three children.