WASHINGTON — Securities lawyers at two top-drawer law firms in Washington and the chief counsel of a well-respected mutual fund company are on a shortlist to replace Paul F. Roye as the top cop of the mutual fund industry.
Mr. Roye is director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's investment management division. The rumors about his impending departure have gotten louder in recent weeks, as the regulator heads into the final stretch of issuing rules to mop up the trading scandal that has afflicted the industry for the past year.
Mr. Roye told Pensions & Investments that there was "some logic" in the widespread expectation he would leave the SEC next year after shepherding through rules aimed at cleaning up the mutual fund industry. But, while he's received "inquiries from a number of places, and it's flattering … at this point it's premature," to discuss his departure, he said.
While it's too early for any one name to be touted as probable, among the names being mentioned as a successor are:
• Jack W. Murphy, a partner in the Washington office of Dechert LLP, Mr. Roye's previous employer. Mr. Murphy oversaw mutual fund and investment adviser regulation during the mid-1990s as associate director and chief counsel of the SEC's investment management division. He began his career in the SEC's investment management division in the mid-1980s, and served briefly as associate general counsel of Paine Webber/Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management in the early 1990s. Mr. Murphy is said to be interested in the job, but did not return numerous telephone calls or e-mail requests to comment.
• Jane A. Kanter, also a partner at Dechert. Ms. Kanter has extensive regulatory experience in Washington, including stints at both the SEC and the Labor Department's Office of the Solicitor, Plan Benefits Security Division. Ms. Kanter also served as vice president and legal counsel at T. Rowe Price Group Inc. in the early 1980s. Ms. Kanter did not return several telephone calls and e-mail requests for comments.
• Martin E. Lybecker, a partner Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, who serves as an outside counsel to several mutual fund companies and to their independent directors. He is a former associate director of the SEC's division of investment management; and chaired the American Bar Association's Committee on Developments in Investment Services from 1994 to 2002; he currently chairs the ABA Section on Banking Law. Mr. Lybecker laughed when told he was being mentioned as a possible candidate to replace Mr. Roye. "I'm way too old to do that job," Mr. Lybecker said. "I'm 60."
• Matthew A. Chambers, partner at Wilmer Cutler, where he specializes in investment management rules and securities laws applying to electronic media. His clients include mutual funds, and private and offshore funds. Mr. Chambers served in the early '90s as associate director of regulation in the SEC's division regulating mutual funds and investment advisers. In that position, he supervised rules pertaining to mutual funds, money managers and public utilities, as well as directing the task force that re-examined mutual fund regulation and drafted the 1992 report on investment company regulation. Mr. Chambers was out of the office and could not be reached for comment.
• Robert G. Bagnall, also a partner at Wilmer Cutler. Mr. Bagnall is a former senior special counsel in the office of chief counsel in the investment management division. Mr. Bagnall worked on producing the seminal SEC report on mutual fund regulation in 1992. He's also a co-author of the 2002 study, "Investment Advisers Law and Compliance." Mr. Bagnall teaches law at Georgetown University, and speaks frequently at industry conferences. He was traveling outside the country and could not be reached for comment.
• James E. Anderson, a partner at Wilmer Cutler. Mr. Anderson joined Wilmer Cutler a decade ago directly from the SEC, where he worked as a lawyer in the Investment Management Division's Office of Investment Company Regulation. He is representing money managers and brokerage houses on market timing, late trading and revenue sharing matters. When asked about replacing Mr. Roye, he said: "Nobody's asked me and I haven't really thought about it."