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News December 12, 2005 Issue

And The New IM Director Is . . .

Golly, we wish we knew.

In the face of acting director Mike Eisenberg’s resignation, IM Insight’s heard several names bandied about as possible candidates for the directorship of the Division of Investment Management.

The very fact that names are circulating again is a sign that SEC Chairman Christopher Cox is working hard to get the IM directorship filled, and fast. Up until last week, there had been months of radio silence on potential IM directors. The fact that there are new names on the grapevine could be a sign that Cox is sending up trial balloons before making a final decision.

And then, of course, there’s the fact that Eisenberg will be leaving the agency in just a few weeks. Presumably, Cox will want to appoint an IM director and be done with it, rather than appointing yet another acting director.

In any event, the list of potential candidates is a mixed bag. There’s a name or two that might leave you scratching your head. And there’s a name or two that you may not even have heard of.

But no, IM Insight’s not going to run the list.

First of all, there’s really no way of telling (and believe us, we tried) whether these are just names that people are talking about, or whether the individuals are under serious consideration by Chairman Cox. One person on the list told IM Insight that he’s not even a candidate: "I have no idea who will get it, but it won’t be me." Other candidates’ names may have gotten on the grapevine as a result of being floated by organizations hoping to get "their guy" into office.

Another reason to hold back: printing the names of the good folks who actually are candidates might jeopardize their chances of being selected. On the flip side, running the names of the not-so-good candidates could "lend some air of credibility to their candidacy," as one person put it.

Besides, chances are we’ll be seeing an official SEC press release on the topic sooner rather than later.