PCAOB swears in new chairman William Duhnke

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The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board swore in its new chairman William D. Duhnke III on Tuesday, along with a new board member, Kathleen M. Hamm, at the headquarters of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC named Duhnke last month to succeed PCAOB chairman James Doty, who has run the accounting firm regulator since 2011, along with a slate of new PCAOB members, including Hamm (see SEC names new PCAOB chairman and members). Before being tapped for his new post, Duhnke was staff director and general counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration under Chairman Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala. He was previously staff director and general counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs and the Committee on Appropriations. Before joining the Senate staff, Duhnke was in the U.S. Navy, and served on the Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces.

“I am pleased to lead the PCAOB in its mission to protect Main Street investors and promote public trust in quality audits of public companies whose securities trade in U.S. markets,” said Duhnke. “As the other new board members join the PCAOB, I look forward to developing a collaborative and consensus-based approach to PCAOB's programs and operations and advancing sustainable audit quality that benefits the capital markets.”

Hamm came to the PCAOB from Promontory Financial Group, where she was global leader of securities and fintech services and senior strategic adviser to the chief executive officer on cyber solutions. She previously worked at the Treasury Department, the American Stock Exchange, and the SEC.

“Audit quality is vital to the effective operation of the capital markets and key to investor protection. I look forward to contributing to PCAOB’s oversight of this important function,” she said.

The SEC appointed three other new board members last month, in effect replacing the existing board: J. Robert Brown, James Kaiser and Duane DesParte, who are all expected to join the board in the near future.

Board member Jeanette M. Franzel will continue as a board member until the arrival of the new board members. Former PCAOB chairman James R. Doty, along with board members Steven B. Harris and Lewis H. Ferguson, have now completed their service.

SEC chairman Jay Clayton issued a joint statement Tuesday commending Duhnke and Hamm along with the outgoing PCAOB officials. “We congratulate incoming PCAOB Chairman Bill Duhnke and Board Member Kathleen Hamm as they begin their service today at the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board,” they said. “We thank them for being willing to serve in these important roles and look forward to working with them as the PCAOB continues its vital mission to promote investor protection through oversight of audits. We also want to thank outgoing Chairman Jim Doty and Board Members Steve Harris and Lew Ferguson for their unwavering commitment to the PCAOB and audit quality. Jim, Steve and Lew have been fabulous public servants and they have overseen many positive developments, including the recently adopted auditor reporting model. The PCAOB and, importantly, investors are better off for their service.”

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