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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

NASD Enforcement Chief Moves On

by: Armie Margaret Lee

Barry Goldsmith, executive vice president for enforcement at the NASD, will step down in mid-March to return to private practice, capping a nearly decade-long stint as the organization’s top enforcement official, the NASD said Wednesday.

Goldsmith will become a partner at law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s office in Washington, D.C.

James Shorris, senior vice president and deputy head of enforcement, has been appointed acting head of enforcement.

"Investor confidence has been badly shaken by a series of scandals in the recent past, and a major key to rebuilding and maintaining investor confidence has been vigorous enforcement of our securities laws and regulations," said NASD Chairman and CEO Robert R. Glauber, in a statement. "Barry Goldsmith and his department have demonstrated to investors over and over again that there is a tough and tireless cop on the securities beat.”

Goldsmith led the NASD’s investigations into mutual fund share class sales practice abuses, hedge fund marketing practices and sales of variable annuities and variable life products by retail brokerage firms, among other areas.

During his watch, the number of new enforcement actions filed each year rose from 975 in 1995 to 1,399 in 2005. Disciplinary fines collected by the NASD, meanwhile, grew from $5.3 million in 1995 to $127.5 million in 2005.

In addition, the enforcement department saw its staff more than double to 216 attorneys, investigators, technologists and administrative personnel.

Prior to joining the NASD in 1996, Goldsmith was chief litigation counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was previously a litigation partner in a Washington, D.C. law firm. 

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