SEC names its first chief risk officer

Gabriel Benincasa has been named chief risk officer at the Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency announced Thursday.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton created the position to strengthen the agency's risk management and cybersecurity efforts, according to a news release.

Mr. Benincasa, who will work within the SEC's office of the chief operating officer, will coordinate the SEC's efforts to identify, monitor and mitigate risks facing the commission. He will also serve as a key adviser on other matters related to enterprise risks and controls, the SEC said.

Julie Erhardt, who had been serving as acting chief risk officer while the SEC completed its recruitment efforts, will return to her role as deputy chief accountant for technology and innovation in the commission's Office of the Chief Accountant.

"Establishing the chief risk officer position at the SEC is an important step forward in our continuing efforts to strengthen the agency's risk management program," Mr. Clayton said in the news release. "Gabe is an experienced senior leader with deep risk, legal, compliance, and financial markets expertise."

Mr. Benincasa began his legal career as an attorney at Davis Polk & Wardwell before working for Morgan Stanley (MS) and other financial firms. He has served in roles including as director of enterprise risk management and vice chair of the risk control committee for a financial-services holding company; deputy global head of operational risk management for an investment bank; general counsel and chief compliance officer for an institutional asset management company; and global head of compliance for a financial technology company, according to the SEC.