- The Washington Times - Monday, April 13, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - A former official of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Meredith Cross, is returning to the agency to head its division that oversees company disclosures to the public, the SEC announced Monday.

Cross will become director of the SEC’s corporation finance division, the latest in a recent series of management changes at the agency. She replaces Shelley Parratt, who has been acting director of the division since early January.

The SEC announced recently that the head of another key division, Trading and Markets Director Erik Sirri, is leaving at the end of April.

In February, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro named Robert Khuzami, a former federal prosecutor and a top legal official on Wall Street, as the new enforcement director to lead the agency’s drive to strengthen its pursuit of financial fraud. He replaced Linda Thomsen, who had become a lightning rod for criticism over the SEC’s failure to detect the massive Ponzi scheme run by disgraced money manager Bernard Madoff despite red flags raised to the agency staff by outsiders over the course of a decade.

Cross, 51, is returning to the SEC from the Washington office of law firm WilmerHale LLP, where she has been since 1998. She worked at the SEC from September 1990 to January 1998, becoming deputy director of the corporation finance division in 1994.

In a statement, Schapiro called her “a sensible problem solver and a brilliant mind on corporate securities law.” She said Cross will play a key role as the agency considers important issues such as a plan to give shareholders access to annual corporate ballots for directors and improving the quality of corporate disclosures in regulatory filings. The corporation finance division oversees disclosures made by more than 12,500 public companies.

Cross has an undergraduate degree from Duke University and a law degree from Vanderbilt University Law School.

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