SEC’s FCPA Enforcement Chief to Leave

Kara Brockmeyer, head of the FCPA Enforcement unit at the Securities and Exchange Commission since its creation in 2011, will leave her job later this month.

The SEC announced the news in a press release on April 4. The statement didn’t say where Brockmeyer may go next or why she is leaving, although Brockmeyer is only the latest in a long line of recent SEC departures as the Trump Administration brings in its own leadership. (Coincidentally on Tuesday, the Senate Banking Committee also endorsed the nomination of Jay Clayton to be the next SEC chairman.)



Brockmeyer joined the SEC in 2000 after a few years in private practice. She was promoted to assistant director in 2005. Prior to heading the FCPA unit, she founded and served as the co-head of the Enforcement Division’s Cross Border Working Group, focusing on U.S. companies with substantial foreign operations, and serving as a member of the Enforcement Division’s Cooperation Committee and the Enforcement Advisory Committee.

As head of the FCPA unit, Brockmeyer managed a team of 38 attorneys, accountants, and other specialists focusing on violations of the anti-bribery and accounting provisions of federal securities laws.  Some of her more notable FCPA enforcement actions:

  • Och-Ziff Capital Management, a hedge fund that paid $412 million last fall for anti-bribery abuses;
  • Odebrecht-Braskem, the Brazilian construction conglomerate that paid $957 million in December, the largest FCPA settlement in history;
  • JP Morgan Chase, which paid $264 million last year for “princeling” abuses;
  • Anheuser-Busch InBev, which paid $6 million to settle FCPA charges and accusations that it chilled a whistleblower who reported the misconduct.

I’ve also had the privilege of working with Brockmeyer several times over the years, hosting her at various compliance conferences. She has always been helpful, thoughtful, and eager to help compliance professionals understand how they could work with the SEC more effectively; a real asset to the compliance community. (Yes, you can be a real asset even when you’re issuing subpoenas.)

For the time being, the FCPA unit will be managed by Charles Cain, deputy chief of the team. He’ll answer to Stephanie Avakian, acting director of the Enforcement Division. We have a lot of people in acting capacity at the agency these days. Once Clayton is confirmed by the Senate (which should happen this week or next), he will start naming permanent directors, and we’ll all get a better sense of the future of FCPA enforcement at the SEC then.

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