The Securities and Exchange Commission's top regulator of mutual funds, hedge funds and other investment firms is leaving.

Andrew John "Buddy" Donohue will leave his position as the SEC's director the Division of Management in November.

Donohue served in the capacity for four years, through the financial crisis that emerged in 2008 and expanded in 2009.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act mandates that the division write stricter rules for oversight of investment advisers. Donohue oversees a staff of 150.

Donohue helped develop significant regulations governing the $39 trillion asset management industry, including investor-oriented rules to improve oversight of money market funds, increase investment adviser custody controls, and curtail investment adviser "pay-to-play" abuses.

In his tenure, the SEC also implemented a new mutual fund summary prospectus and investment adviser disclosure brochure, and proposed to replace rule 12b-1 mutual fund distribution fees with a reformed regulatory framework.

The agency also recently proposed rule amendments to improve information in target date fund advertisements and marketing.

Donohue's "vast knowledge of mutual funds and the investment advisory landscape has been invaluable in advancing several vital regulatory initiatives," said SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro.

Donohue, 59, was appointed to lead the Division of Investment Management in April 2006. The post had been open for one year.

Donohue did not give a reason for his decision to leave.

Donohue came to the SEC from Merrill Lynch Investment Managers, where he served as Global General Counsel and oversaw the firm's legal and regulatory compliance functions for more than $500 billion in assets including mutual funds, fixed income funds, hedge funds, private equities, and managed futures. He also was Chairman of the firm's Global Risk Oversight Committee.

Donohue also spent more than a decade as Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Director, and member of the Executive Committee for OppenheimerFunds, the mutual fund management company.

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