SEC’s co-Director of Enforcement to leave agency next week

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The Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday that Steven Peikin, co-director of enforcement, is leaving the agency on Aug. 14 after three years in his role. Co-Director Stephanie Avakian will remain as director of the division. Under their leadership, the SEC managed to return more than $3 billion to harmed investors and brought enforcement actions that resulted in more than $13.5 billion in disgorgement and penalties, the agency said in a statement. Peikin and Avakian headed up a steering committee dedicated to combating fraud during the coronavirus pandemic and suspended trading in the securities of dozens of issuers who made unsubstantiated claims relating to COVID-19, as MarketWatch reported. Peikin came to the SEC from Sullivan & Cromwell LLP’s Criminal Defense and Investigations Group. Before that, he workd as as Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.