The Securities and Exchange Commission  has announced that Christopher R. Conte, associate director in the division of enforcement, will leave his post at the regulator after 18 years.

Conte, 49, has carved out a name for himself at the SEC after he oversaw a variety of high-profile cases from accounting fraud and disclosure violations to unlawful market timing. In the past, he functioned as the head of the SEC’s enforcement actions against Dell Inc., and its senior officers and against former executives at Comverse Technology. Also, he assisted in providing support for the SEC’s cases against Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Robertson Stephens, Inc. involving unlawful IPO allocation practices.

While at the SEC, Conte conducted a series of investigations that involved illegal payments under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, manipulative short selling practices, and insider trading by corporate insiders and other professionals. Additionally, he supervised enforcement actions that resulted from unethical actions from broker-dealers and investment advisors such as e-mail preservation and production failures, audit independence rules and breaching of SEC’s proxy rules and rules governing the reporting of security holdings, among many others. Also, Conte coordinated numerous enforcement matters with other federal law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Attorney offices as well as self-regulatory organizations including the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Conte joined the SEC as a staff attorney in November 1992. After five years of serving in this role, he was promoted to branch chief then two years later to deputy assistant director and finally moved up to his current position as assistant director in 2000.

“[Conte’s] extensive experience and deep commitment to investor protection made him a strong force in the effort to hold accountable those who violate the securities laws,” said Robert Khuzami, the director of the SEC's division of enforcement.

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