SEC loses top alternatives investigator

The SEC has lost two of its top investigators to the private sector, including Robert Kaplan who co-headed the agency’s unit responsible for monitoring private fund managers.

Robert Kaplan, co-chief of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) unit responsible for investigating private fund managers, is bringing his experiences to Debevoise & Plimpton’s Washington DC office.  

In similar news, peer law firm BuckleySandler has brought to its Washington DC office Thomas Sporkin, the SEC’s top investigator responsible for fielding market fraud tips, including intelligence from the agency’s recently crafted whistle-blower programme

Kaplan, who started his public sector career in 1995 as a SEC staff attorney, is probably best known by private fund managers as co-chief of the SEC’s Asset Management Unit, a role he was awarded in early 2010 alongside fellow SEC veteran Bruce Karpati at the time of the unit’s creation

Robert Kaplan

Two internal hires will become deputy chiefs to Karpati, revealed Kaplan in an interview with PE Manager. 

The unit boasts a team of 75 lawyers and industry experts who were assembled to provide the SEC greater expertise in supervising alternative asset managers. For GPs who complain that some SEC auditors don’t understand enough about how private equity is different from other types of investment advisors, the unit sought to ease those concerns. 

When asked what registered firms should expect ahead of an inspection sweep later this fall, Kaplan responded that inspectors are, in his experience, “very fair, competent and balanced in how they approach their examinations”.

Kaplan added his work will be largely dedicated to assisting private equity firms who must register with the SEC as mandated by financial reform bill Dodd-Frank.