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SEC Director of Division of Trading and Markets Brett Redfearn to Depart

Redfearn, who led the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, which was responsible for ensuring firms remain in compliance with Reg BI, will leave the agency by year’s end.

Brett Redfearn, the director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets, will be leaving the agency by the end of the year. He’s the latest executive at the SEC to announce that they will be vacating their post by year’s end, including Chair Jay Clayton.

“It has been a tremendous honor and privilege to lead this division during a period that included incredibly challenging times for markets, investors, and the economy,” Redfearn said.

Redfearn joined the SEC in October 2017 to lead the division of 255 staff. During his time, he helped oversee the response to the COVID-19 crisis and was named one of’s Ten to Watch in 2020 for his role implementing Regulation Best Interest. 

The rule went into effect on June 30 of this year, and Redfearn and his team participated in numerous aspects of its implementation. Under his watch, the division released FAQs and further guidance for affected advisors, and participated in a roundtable that focused on the commission’s initial observations post-implementation.

Christian Sabella, a deputy director for the Division of Trading and Markets, will take over as acting director for the time being.

In a statement about Redfearn’s departure, Clayton said the SEC had relied on his “steady hand” and his ability to help the commission complete important rule-making.

“Brett’s extensive, practical knowledge of markets, market operations, and industry participants has enhanced greatly the SEC’s efforts to promote market integrity and improve market structure for the benefit of investors,” Clayton said. “It is rare that one person can materially lift the expertise and effectiveness of a large, well-functioning group. Brett is that rare person.”

Earlier this year, Clayton announced that he would be leaving his position as chair by the end of the year, leaving an open position to be nominated by President-elect Joe Biden and voted on by the U.S. Senate next year. Additionally, SEC Enforcement Director Stephanie Avakian announced last week that she would also be leaving before year-end.

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