David P. Bergers, the head the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Boston office, was named Thursday as acting deputy director of the regulator’s enforcement division in Washington.
Bergers, 45, became the SEC’s district administrator for the New England area in 2006. He joined the office in 1998 as an enforcement staff attorney, having previously worked as a lawyer in Boston and Philadelphia.
“David is an extremely talented attorney who has a successful track record leading the Boston regional office,” said SEC chairman Elisse B. Walter. “Having worked at the SEC for 13 years, he has a deep understanding of the division, agency, and laws we enforce. And, he has a true appreciation for the significant impact that the work of the SEC has on investors.”
In the acting deputy role, Bergers will most likely split his time between Washington and Boston. He takes the post at a time of transition at the nation’s top securities regulator, following the resignation of SEC chief Mary Schapiro and as President Obama’s nominee to take her place, former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White, awaits confirmation.
In addition, the agency’s enforcement director, Robert Khuzami has announced that he is stepping down. It is unclear whether Bergers will get a nod for a permanent position in Washington, but his presence there will likely put him in the running.
The SEC also named George S. Canellos acting director; he is currently the deputy.
The past four years have been a challenge for the SEC, which faced sharp criticism for allowing so much risk to build up at investment firms before the financial crisis. The agency was also blamed for having failed to detect the massive fraud perpetrated by Bernard Madoff.
Bergers holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Nazarene College in Quincy and earned his law degree at Yale. In Boston, he is responsible for oversight of more than 1,100 investment advisers, 60 mutual fund firms, and 375 broker-dealers. The agency said he has headed hundreds investigations into investment and financial fraud, insider trading, and other securities law violations.
Secretary of State William F. Galvin, who heads the Massachusetts Securities Division, said he is looking forward to continuing to cooperate with Bergers. “David is an experienced and capable regulator with whom my office has had a close and successful working relationship. I’m sure he’ll be as successful in Washington as he was in Boston.”