After a 10-year tenure that included a number of investigations in precedent-setting areas, NASD enforcement chief Barry R. Goldsmith will leave the brokerage industry regulator in mid-March for a job in the private sector.

Goldsmith, 56, will become a partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Washington. NASD Senior Vice President and Deputy Head of Enforcement James Shorris will serve as acting head of enforcement, the agency said.

"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. "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. We at NASD thank him for his enormous contribution, and we wish him every success in his new endeavors."

Goldsmith said, "I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished together in the enforcement arena."

Goldsmith joined the NASD from the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1996. He spearheaded a number of landmark investigations, including probes into research analyst conflicts of interest, boiler room fraud, mutual fund share class practice abuses and hedge fund marketing practices. During his tenure, the enforcement staff more than doubled its number of personnel, while annual enforcement actions reached a record number and penalties collected rose from $5.3 million in 1995 to $127.5 million in 2005.

In other NASD news, the regulator announced that it has reopened its New Orleans branch office. Firms in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee will now resume contact with the office.

Subscribe Now

Access to premium content including in-depth coverage of mutual funds, hedge funds, 401(K)s, 529 plans, and more.

3-Week Free Trial

Insight and analysis into the management, marketing, operations and technology of the asset management industry.