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News October 12, 2015 Issue

One SEC Deputy Chief of Staff Named as Another Departs

Michael Liftik was named a deputy chief of staff by the SEC on October 5. He replaces Erica Williams, whose departure was announced the same day.

Liftik, who will be one of two agency chiefs of staff – the other is Nathaniel Stankard – has been senior adviser to SEC chair Mary Jo White since April 2013, providing legal advice on enforcement policy matters and cases. He is also White’s representative on the deputies committee of the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

As legal adviser, Liftik worked with SEC staff and officials from the Department of Treasury, Federal Reserve Board and other financial regulators to identify and address developments in the asset management industry, cybersecurity and macroeconomic trends.

Liftik began his SEC tenure in November 2007 as a Division of Enforcement staff attorney in San Francisco, where he investigated and litigated securities law violations, the agency said. Those cases included charges against private investment fund managers and others involving secondary market trading in pre-IPO companies, and an inquiry into potential Regulation FD violations involving the use of social media. From May 2012 to April 2013, he was counsel to the director of the Enforcement Division.

Prior to joining the agency, Liftik practiced securities litigation and white-collar crime at law firms in San Francisco and Boston. He holds a law degree from Harvard Law School.

Williams served as deputy chief of staff to three SEC chairs: White, Elisse Walter and Mary Schapiro. She first took on the position in May 2012, having joined the chair’s staff as enforcement counsel in February 2011. She began her SEC career in February 2004 in the Enforcement Division’s trial unit.

Prior to joining the agency, Williams was a commercial litigator. She holds a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.