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News January 30, 2012 Issue

IM Reorganizes Rulemaking Operations

Quiet change has come to the SECís Division of Investment Management.

After Eileen Rominger arrived as the Divisionís new director a year ago, the ordinary course of business has been taking a different path.

Back in the summer, Rominger established the new position of Managing Executive of the Division, and appointed Diane Blizzard to the post. To fill the Deputy Director slot, a position typically held by outsiders who come in with a director only for the directorís tenure, Rominger tapped IM veteran and long-serving associate director Robert Plaze. Now, it appears that the process of rulemaking in the Division has undergone a fundamental shift.

The Division has long maintained two separate rulemaking groups, one primarily focused on disclosure rule writing and the other with a broader regulatory policy mandate.

Recently, those two groups were combined into a single unit that will be managed by co-assistant directors Penelope Saltzman and Hunter Jones. Saltzman and Jones headed one of the separate units in those same roles. Mark Uyeda, who had supervisory responsibilities in the disclosure rule-writing group, has moved into the combined group in a senior policy position as Senior Special Counsel.

The reorganization results from a different way of looking at rulemaking, said a source in IM. The move centralizes the regulatory policy (rulemaking) function in a core group, which can then consult with staff from other offices within IM on a project by project basis. The rulemaking model is similar to the rulemaking process used in the Division of Corporation Finance, said the source.

It sounds like more of a return to the Administrative Procedures Act structuring for rule writing, said one senior industry attorney. Also, it appears to be a concerted effort to break down any "silos" of information that may exist, and draw subject matter expertise from across the Division into rulemakings, said the attorney.

In other news within IM, the associate director post vacated by Plaze back in the summer remains unfilled. The position was recently reposted, an action that weíre told is unrelated to the rulemaking reorganization.