SEC names Dalia Blass director of investment management

Ms. Blass returns to the agency, where she previously worked for more than a decade, to run a division with influence over fiduciary duty

Aug 31, 2017 @ 6:14 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced late Thursday afternoon that Dalia Blass, a securities attorney and former agency staff member, has been named director of the Division of Investment Management.

She will take over the division that regulates investment advisers as well as investment companies, including mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, and variable insurance products. In the role, she will influence how the agency addresses investment advice standards and whether it proposes a uniform fiduciary rule. She replaces David Grim, a longtime SEC staffer who rose through the ranks to take over investment management in 2015.

Ms. Blass joins the SEC from the law firm Ropes & Gray, where she was a counsel concentrating on investment-fund, private equity and regulatory matters, according to an SEC statement. A former SEC assistant chief counsel in investment management, she spent more than a decade at the agency. While at the SEC, she helped determine whether the agency would approve new ETFs.

"The investment management industry is constantly evolving, yet its integrity is vital to our markets and Main Street investors," SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in a statement. "I know Dalia and the dedicated team in the Investment Management Division recognize this and will continue to work every day to fulfill the SEC's mission."

The Wall Street Journal first reported in June that Ms. Blass was likely to take over the SEC division. Her husband, David, earlier this year stepped down as general counsel at the Investment Company Institute to join the law firm Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, a move that was seen as a predicate to Ms. Blass' appointment.

The ICI issued a statement praising Ms. Blass immediately after her appointment was announced.

"Ms. Blass has superb credentials for the job," ICI president Paul Schott Stevens said in a statement. "We are confident that she will exercise strong leadership on regulatory initiatives that are critical to mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and America's 95 million fund shareholders."

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