George Canellos, a New York-based litigation partner at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, will become regional director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s New York office, SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro announced today.
Canellos has practiced at Milbank since 2003, but prior to that, he spent eight years as a criminal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. As chief of the Major Crimes Unit in the U.S. Attorney’s office, he oversaw investigations into large-scale financial crimes. He also served as senior trial counsel of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force.
Canellos was not immediately available for comment. In a statement, Schapiro said Canellos "exemplifies precisely the kind of high caliber professional" the commission wants to recruit for the New York office.
And, indeed, the SEC can use all the manpower it can get. During testimony this morning before a Senate appropriations subcommittee, Schapiro stressed that that her agency is seriously short-staffed.
According to Schapiro’s written testimony, the SEC has just 3,652 staff overseeing the more than 35,000 registrants the commission is charged with monitoring. She said other financial regulators "often have close to parity between the number of staff and the number of entities they regulate."