WASHINGTON Aug 2 Robert Plaze, a longtime official in the Securities and Exchange Commission's Investment Management division who is well-known to the U.S. fund industry, is retiring at the end of August after almost 30 years of service.
Plaze, the deputy director of the division, has been a driving force behind many of the sweeping new rules required by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law for hedge funds and private equity funds, as well as rules implemented for money market funds in response to the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
"It's been an honor and privilege to work at the commission," Plaze said. "When I began, I expected to stay a few years, but I found that the issues were so engaging and the work so important that I remained here for nearly three decades."
Plaze joined the SEC in 1983, and has served in various roles over the years within the investment management division.
He has worked to develop regulations for mutual funds including requiring fee tables in mutual fund prospectuses and requiring funds and their advisers to adopt compliance programs.
He is leaving the agency at a crucial time, as SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro continues to try to win support for a new round of reforms for money market mutual funds that she says will help prevent a repeat of 2008 when the Reserve Primary Fund "broke the buck" and its net asset value fell below $1.
Schapiro's proposals, which include capital buffers and redemption holdbacks or a switch to a floating net asset value, have faced major opposition from the industry and also been strongly questioned by three of her fellow colleagues on the commission.
The five commissioners are currently reviewing a draft of the plan. Schapiro needs three votes in order to put it out for public comment.
Plaze's departure follows the appointment in July of Norm Champ, who previously served as deputy director for the Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations, as head of the Investment Management division. (Editing by Phil Berlowitz)