Meredith Cross, chief watchdog over corporate disclosures at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, announced today that she will leave the agency at the end of the year to "return to the private sector."
The news comes a week after SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro announced she is stepping down on December 14.
Cross, a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr from 1998 to 2009, joined the SEC to run the Division of Corporation Finance in June 2009. She has not said what her next job will be, and according to an agency spokeswoman “has no immediate plans.”
“Because of the efforts of Meredith and her staff, investors today get better, more meaningful information about the companies they invest in,” Schapiro said in a news release. “She understands that the SEC’s work matters for millions of Americans and she helped to improve the way the agency does its job.”
During her tenure, Cross and her staff reviewed high-profile IPOs including those for Facebook Inc. and Groupon Inc. She also led SEC efforts to implement the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act and the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act.
In addition, the Corporation Finance Division on her watch established new offices focusing on large financial institutions, asset-backed securities and other structured products, and capital markets trends—which, according to the SEC, allowed the division “to better identify and address issues that could significantly impact investors, issuers and markets in the future.”
Most recently, the division created a new Office of Disclosure Standards to assess the outcomes of filing reviews.
The Division of Corporation Finance oversees the disclosures made to investors by more than 9,000 public issuers including registration statements for newly-offered securities, materials distributed in connection with business combination transactions, annual and quarterly filings, and proxy materials sent to shareholders for annual meetings.
“I am so proud of all we have accomplished together,” Cross said in a written statement. “With Chairman Schapiro’s support, we have been able to demonstrate time and time again that the Division’s disclosure review program makes a real difference in improving the quality of information that is available to investors.”