John Capone, the chief accountant at the Securities and Exchange Commission, is leaving the SEC March 30 to become a partner with Arthur Andersen of Chicago, he said.

Capone said he will begin with Andersen April 16, working in its financial services practice. Capone will work with Andersen's mutual fund clients including Pioneer Group of Boston, SEI Investments of Oaks, Pa. and Nuveen Investments of Chicago, he said.

The SEC has not found a replacement for Capone, said John Heine, an SEC spokesperson.

Capone joined the SEC five years ago as assistant chief accountant and was made chief accountant two years later, he said. One of the most satisfying aspects of his job with the SEC was his role in developing policy and regulations, Capone said.

Before working with the SEC, Capone was a manager with Coopers & Lybrand of Philadelphia, he said.

Capone said his resignation is unrelated to the departure last month of Arthur Levitt, the former SEC chairman.

"This is really an opportunity for my own personal growth and I had to take it," Capone said.

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