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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

SEC Forms Distribution Committee

News summary by MFWire's editors

Investor settlements dating back to the Spitzer era are about to get expedited. The SEC has formed a committee that will focus specifically on the collection and distribution of settlements. The Office of Collections and Distributions will be headed up by Richard J. D’Anna, previously senior vice president at 1st Bridgehouse Securities. Serving as deputy director at the Office of Collections and Distributions is Lynn Powalski, who has been in the SEC's division of enforcement since 2001.

Company Press Release

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox today announced the appointments of the top two leaders of the agency’s newly created Office of Collections and Distributions.

Richard J. D’Anna, an experienced manager in the financial services industry, has joined the SEC as the first-ever director of the new office. Mr. D’Anna will use his considerable private sector experience in tracking and managing financial assets to expedite the distribution of more than $5 billion in SEC recoveries to injured investors.

At the same time, Lynn M. Powalski will become Deputy Director of the Office of Distributions and Collections. Ms. Powalski has been an Assistant Director and Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel for Collections and Distributions within the SEC’s Division of Enforcement.

“The Commission’s strong commitment to recovering money from wrongdoers and returning it to investors is amply demonstrated by the more than $2 billion we distributed last year,” said Chairman Cox. “In 2008, we can do more. Dick and Lynn bring exactly the right skill-sets to their new positions, and they will make an excellent team to lead the SEC’s efforts to get money back to defrauded investors as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act passed by Congress in 2002 for the first time gave the SEC authority to distribute financial penalties paid by securities law violators directly to injured investors. Using this authority, the SEC already has distributed more than $3.5 billion. The new office is intended to further expedite the return of more than $5 billion in so-called Fair Funds to harmed investors, while cutting red tape and the costs of the distributions.

Mr. D’Anna said, “I am very excited to join the SEC in this capacity and look forward to working with the professional staff there to accomplish the important goals the Chairman has provided. I have every confidence we will be successful.”

Ms. Powalski said, “I look forward to this new opportunity and to working with the Office’s exceptional staff. We expect to build on the Commission’s continued success in depriving securities law violators of illegally obtained funds and ensuring that the funds collected are returned to harmed investors as quickly as possible.”

Prior to joining the SEC staff, Mr. D’Anna was Senior Vice President at 1st Bridgehouse Securities and a Senior Vice President and Consultant at FITS, Inc., operating from his base in Baltimore, Md. He was previously the Senior Operations Officer at Fiserv Securities in Philadelphia from 2004 to 2005, and served as Managing Director of Correspondent Clearing, Custody Operations, and Prime Brokerage Services at Deutsche Bank/Alex Brown in Baltimore from 1996 to 2002. Mr. D’Anna graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1968 and served on active duty in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War as a Gunnery/Ordnance Officer. He later earned his MBA in Finance at New York University.

Ms. Powalski has worked in the SEC’s Division of Enforcement since 2001. Her previous experience includes serving as a counsel in the Legal Division of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria Division). Ms. Powalski earned her B.A. in Political Science at William Smith College in Geneva, N.Y., and her J.D. from the Washington College of Law at The American University in Washington, D.C.

Edited by: Erin Kello

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