Paul Roye, director of the investment management division at the Securities and Exchange Commission, ended nearly a year of speculation on Feb. 18 by announcing that he'll step down as the mutual fund industry's top regulator. The news rekindled a debate, however, over who might replace the mild-mannered Kentuckian and just what his legacy might be.

Roye won't officially depart the SEC until probably mid-March, a Commission spokesman said, adding that no timetable has been set to determine a successor and that "the search is in the hands" of SEC Chairman William Donaldson.

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