Brett Redfearn is leaving as director of the Securities and Exchange Commission's division of trading and markets, the agency said Tuesday.
Deputy Director Christian Sabella will serve as acting director when Mr. Redfearn leaves at the end of the year.
During his three-year tenure, Mr. Redfearn led several initiatives to improve both public and private markets, earning the praise of SEC Chairman Jay Clayton.
"Brett's extensive, practical knowledge of markets, market operations, and industry participants has enhanced greatly the SEC's efforts to promote market integrity and improve market structure for the benefit of investors," Mr. Clayton said in a statement, noting that Mr. Redfearn's "deep understanding of complex issues and market structure" helped the SEC get important rule-making and other initiatives across the finish line.
Most recently, that involved providing guidance to markets and market participants in response to market volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and temporary rule changes to accommodate all-electronic trading, proxy voting and other challenges.
Mr. Redfearn was also a central figure in SEC efforts to modernize the National Market System and to make exchanges more efficient and transparent about fees. He led the division through the implementation of Regulation Best Interest aimed at ensuring that broker-dealers recommend transactions or investment strategies in the best interest of retail customers. He also instituted several market structure roundtables and advisory groups.