SEC taps head of New York branch as co-director of enforcement

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has tapped the head of its New York office to be the deputy director of enforcement for the agency.

Marc P. Berger will step into the role alongside current director Stephanie Avakian, according to an announcement from the regulator.

Earlier this month, the SEC announced that co-director Steven Peikin would leave in August. Peikin, in partnership with Avakian, spearheaded enforcement actions in the crypto space, joining the agency in 2017 amid the initial coin offering (ICO) boom.

He and Avakian pioneered the agency's Cyber Unit to combat cyber-related crimes and digital asset-related violations. Together, they took on numerous enforcement actions against ICOs, as well as lawsuits like the Kik interactive case brought in 2019. Avakian would continue on as director.

Now, Berger will continue that work with Avakian. Before this, he led the SEC's largest regional office since 2017. As Berger exits his place in New York, the SEC announced Richard R. Best will take up the post as Director of the New York Regional Office. Best joined the SEC in 2015 as the Regional Director of the Salt Lake Office before taking the role in the Atlanta Office.