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, has served as the SEC’s district administrator for the New England area since 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 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 he is stepping down. It’s 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 also was blamed for having failed to detect the massive fraud conducted by Bernard Madoff.
Bergers holds a bachelors degree from Eastern Nazarene College and earned his law degree at Yale. In Boston, he is responsible for oversight of more than 1100 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.