PCAOB names new director of enforcement

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The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board announced that Patrick Bryan has been named director of its Division of Enforcement and Investigations, while Kenneth Lench is due to join the audit overseer as general counsel.

Bryan, who is expected to join the board in January 2020, is currently assistant general counsel for enforcement for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Prior to joining the Federal Reserve, he served in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement. He holds a BA and JD from Loyola University.

"The board is committed to prioritizing enforcement and investigative efforts to address issues that pose the greatest risk to investors and are most likely to deter improper conduct,” said PCAOB Chairman William Duhnke in a statement. “We are fortunate to have Patrick join the PCAOB and look forward to leveraging his significant experience to enhance the Board’s oversight activities to improve audit quality.”

"I am honored to lead the division," Bryan said in a statement. "Enforcement is crucial to the organization’s mission, and I appreciate the opportunity to work with the board to enforce accountability of PCAOB standards and rules, and related federal securities laws."

Lench, meanwhile, is expected to join the PCAOB in February 2020 from law firm Kirkland & Ellis, where he is a partner in the government, regulatory and internal investigations practice. Before joining the firm in 2013, he spent over two decades in a number of positions at the SEC. He holds a BA from Brandeis University and a JD from the Boston University School of Law.

"Ken brings deep experience in securities law and the capital markets, and will be an excellent addition to our leadership team,” said Duhnke in a statement. “We look forward to his counsel as we work to effectively execute our mission and make continued progress on our strategic plan.”

"It is an honor to join the PCAOB and lead the Office of the General Counsel," said Lench, in a statement. "The PCAOB plays an important role in advancing audit quality, and I look forward to working with the board and dedicated staff to execute the organization’s statutory mandate."

Current acting director of enforcement Mark Adler will resume his role as deputy director and chief trial counsel. He held the position since the resignation of the board’s inaugural director of enforcement, Claudius Modesti, in May. (See “PCAOB exits continue as Claudius Modesti departs.”)

Similarly, acting general counsel John Cook will resume his role as deputy general counsel.

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