Annette Nazareth, an adviser to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Arthur Levitt, will serve as acting director of the SEC's Division of Investment Management. Nazareth joined the agency only two months ago.

Nazareth will return to her role as senior counsel to Levitt once a permanent director is named to run the division, which supervises mutual funds. An SEC spokesperson could not say when a permanent director would be named.

A search for a new director of Investment Management began in August when Barry Barbash, the director for the past five years, announced he was leaving to become a partner at the Washington office of the law firm of Shearman & Sterling. Barbash's last day at the SEC was Tuesday.

Nazareth has been a securities industry lawyer for the past 17 years. Before joining the SEC, she served as a managing director at Salomon Smith Barney where she was responsible for legal issues involving the sales and trading of securities and derivatives. From 1994 to 1997, Nazareth worked in the legal and compliance department at Lehman Brothers. She began her career at the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell.

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