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News May 2, 2011 Issue

Gene Gohlke, Long-Serving Head Of The SEC’s Adviser And Investment Company Examination Program, Retires

Say it isnít so.

The collective institutional memory at the head of OCIEís adviser and investment company examination program for the past three and a half decades has bid the post farewell.

The SEC announced OCIE associate director Gene Gohlkeís retirement last week, marking the close of his more than 35-year career examining advisers and mutual funds, 30 of those years as the SEC programís leader. "Geneís career at the SEC has spanned five decades, and he will be sorely missed," said OCIE director Carlo di Florio.

OCIE deputy director Norm Champ will serve as acting associate director for the national investment adviser and investment company examination program until Gohlkeís successor is named.

Gohlke is a CPA and Business Administration PhD who joined the agency in 1975 as a staff accountant in the SECís Division of Investment Management. IM operated the investment adviser examination program prior to the creation of OCIE in 1995. Gohlke served as the Examination Program Coordinator, Chief Financial Analyst, and as an assistant director in the Division before becoming associate director for the examination program in 1986. He moved with that title in 1995 to OCIE when it was created and assumed responsibility for examination programs.

Gohlke served under ten SEC chairmen during his tenure at the agency, and was acting director of IM in 1990.

In the SECís announcement, Gohlke said "I have been privileged to have the opportunity to help shape the regulatory regime that fostered the evolution and growth of mutual funds during a period of momentous change for investors, investment management, and the financial markets."

Indeed. Heís being modest.

Gohlke authored standard-setting guidance issued in 1979 that provided investor-oriented controls on mutual fundsí use of instruments that create leverage. He helped craft rulemaking adopted in 2003 that requires investment advisers and investment companies to establish compliance programs and appoint chief compliance officers to administer those programs. He not only survived a series of regulatory revolutions affecting advisers and investment companies over the decades, he was a chief architect of their implementation.

Institutional memory drain, but no drain of industry expertise.

Gohlkeís departure comes just seven months after OCIE lost its collective institutional memory at the head of the broker-dealer examination program. Last September, associate director Mary Ann Gadziala retired from the SEC after 30 years on the staff overseeing broker-dealer examinations.

Just days before announcing Gohlkeís retirement, the SEC announced the appointment of Gadzialaís successor, Julius Leiman-Carbia.

Leiman-Carbia has spent much of his career in "legal and compliance leadership positions," said the SEC press release. He brings "a wealth of technical expertise and broker-dealer industry experience" to the post, said di Florio. Lehman-Carbia is also a veteran of the SEC staff, having served as an attorney in the Division of Market Regulation from 1989 to 1994. He returns to the SEC from significant private sector compliance and legal positions with Citigroup, JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs.

Sources on the staff anticipate that the next associate director for adviser and investment company examinations will bring a similar depth of experience and expertise to the post.