SEC’s Last Obama-Era Division Director to Depart

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By Andrew Ramonas

The SEC’s last full-fledged division chief installed by a Barack Obama appointee is on his way out.

David Grim will step down as director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management in September, the agency said Aug. 3. Former SEC Chairman Mary Jo White gave him the job leading the agency’s oversight of the asset management industry in 2015.

Grim, a 22-year commission veteran, has worked under former acting Chairman Michael Piwowar and Chairman Jay Clayton since White left in January. Grim’s upcoming departure lets Clayton make his mark on the division, which is helping with a possible fiduciary rule for retirement advisers. Clayton has asked the public to assess the Labor Department’s version of the regulation in advance of potential agency action.

The SEC hasn’t announced who will succeed Grim, but Ropes & Gray LLP counsel Dalia Blass is likely to get his job, according to news reports. Blass, who previously was a lawyer in the division, is married to Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP partner David Blass. He stepped down earlier this year as general counsel of the Investment Company Institute, a trade group for mutual funds and exchange-traded funds.

Dalia Blass didn’t respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Clayton declined to comment.

Grim joined the Investment Management division as a staff attorney in its Office of Investment Company Regulation directly from law school in 1995. He then went to the division’s Office of Chief Counsel in 1998, rising to assistant chief counsel in 2007. Grim became the division’s deputy director in 2013.

Under Grim’s direction, the division updated investment company data reporting, issued cybersecurity guidance, and recommended proposed rulemaking on business continuity and transition plans for investment advisers, according to the SEC.

The last White-era directors of the commission’s four other divisions departed this past winter, leaving the units to acting heads. Clayton has named permanent directors of the Divisions of Corporation Finance and Enforcement since becoming chairman in May. The Divisions of Trading and Markets and Economic and Risk Analysis still have temporary chiefs.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phyllis Diamond at

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