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SEC names new enforcement chief for complex products

Jan 8, 2014 @ 9:58 am

By Hazel Bradford

regulation, securities and exchange commission, canellos, ceresney
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Michael J. Osnato, Jr.

Michael Osnato Jr. was named Monday to head the SEC enforcement unit looking into complex financial instruments.

Since 2010, Mr. Osnato has been an assistant director in the Securities and Exchange Commission's New York office, where he helped spearhead the government's case against J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and two former traders involving the overvaluing of a complex trading portfolio to hide massive losses, according to an SEC statement. He also helped bring charges against Credit Suisse Group bankers and traders involving overstating subprime bond prices, and against operators of the Reserve Primary Fund, according to the SEC.

Andrew Ceresney — who will become sole enforcement director at the end of the month, when George S. Canellos leaves — said in the statement that Mr. Osnato “has been a valuable part of our efforts to punish misconduct related to complex financial instruments, and we are pleased that he will bring his considerable talents and skills to the unit.”

The SEC's complex financial instruments unit was created in 2010 with four other specialized units, and was formerly known as the structured and new products unit. It uses attorneys and industry experts to investigate potential misconduct related to asset-backed securities, derivatives and other complex financial products.

Hazel Bradford is a reporter at sister publication Pensions & Investments.

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