The SEC has announced that Amanda Fisher, who is currently senior counselor to chair Gary Gensler, will take over as SEC chief of staff following the departure of Prashant Yerramalli at the end of the year.
Yerramalli, whose resignation will be effective Dec. 31, was appointed in January 2021 by acting chair Allison Herren Lee, and continued in that position after Gensler took over that April.
Yerramalli joined the SEC’s Division of Enforcement in 2014 and worked as senior counsel in its Asset Management Unit before becoming senior counsel to former SEC commissioner Robert Jackson, Jr. He left the agency for nine months in 2020 to take a job as senior vice president at Brookfield Asset Management but returned to the SEC as chief of staff and counselor to acting chair Lee in 2011.
As chief of staff, Yerramalli served as senior adviser to the chair on legal, policy and management matters relating to anything happening at the SEC, including enforcement, rulemaking, examinations and operational issues.
“I have the deepest appreciation for Prashant,” Gensler said in the announcement of Yerramalli’s pending resignation. “His counsel, judgment, and leadership have been invaluable to the agency and me.”
Gensler hired Fischer as senior counselor in 2021 after working with her while he served as head of the team reviewing financial regulatory agencies during the transition from the Trump to Biden administrations.
Fischer was one of seven Gensler hired to form his core executive staff soon after coming to the SEC.
As senior counselor, Fischer advises Gensler on SEC rulemaking procedures and interagency work.
She had previously served as policy director for the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, which funds and conducts research into stable, broad-based economic growth.
Prior to that Fischer spent a decade on Capitol Hill, serving as chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Katie Porter, a Democrat from Orange County, Calif., and as policy adviser and staff manager for members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and the Committee on Financial Services for the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Amanda has been one of my most trusted advisers both since joining the SEC and during the Biden-Harris transition,” Gensler said in the transition announcement. “She is a remarkable talent with an exceptional background in policymaking from her time on Capitol Hill and at the agency.”
New deputies in Examinations
The SEC also announced the appointment of two veteran SEC staff members — Keith E. Cassidy and Natasha Vij Greiner — as deputy directors of the Division of Examinations.
The two will take over the role from Joy Thompson, who has filled in as acting deputy director while also working as acting co-regional director of the Philadelphia Regional Office and associate regional director of the Division of Examinations in Philadelphia, according to the Nov. 7 announcement.
In addition to her new post as deputy director, Greiner serves as national associate director of the SEC’s Investment Adviser/Investment Company (IA/IC) private-funds exam program and as associate director of the Home Office IA/IC exam program.
Greiner took over at the IA/IC after the departure of Kristin Snyder, who resigned in January from her position as deputy director of the Division of Examinations and national associate director of the IA/IC unit.
She started her 21-year career at the SEC as a broker-dealer examiner, but also served as acting chief counsel for the Division of Trading and Markets, after having spent a decade in the Division of Enforcement investigating violations of federal securities laws.
Cassidy is a 12-year SEC veteran who also acts as national associate director of the examination division’s Technology Controls Program, which is responsible for examinations of Regulation SCI entities and for the SEC’s CyberWatch program and CyberSecurity Program Office.
He has also served as Director of the SEC’s Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, and as chief of staff at the Dept. of Justice Office of Legislative Affairs.
Both will continue with their secondary roles in the IA/IC exam program and the TCP in addition to their new roles as deputy directors.
“Our examinations function plays an essential role as the eyes and ears on the ground for the Commission,” Gensler said in announcing their new roles. “Keith and Natasha have proven to be strong leaders with deep experience and will be invaluable as deputy directors in the division.”