Giovanni Prezioso, general counsel at the Securities and Exchange Commission, said he would leave the regulator to return to a post in the private sector.

Prezioso, 47 has served in that capacity since being appointed in 2002. He will officially leave in early 2006 in order to assist with the transition process.

During his tenure, the Prezioso's office reviewed and provided legal advice on over 2,000 enforcement actions and over 100 rulemaking proceedings. His office was responsible for coordinating the SEC's implementation of the rulemaking requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 within the timeframes mandated by Congress.

Prezioso also led an initiative to revitalize the Commission's amicus program.

"Giovanni's service at the SEC has coincided with the most significant expansion of the agency and the most important enlargement of our authority since the Commission's earliest years," said SEC Chair Christopher Cox, in a statement. "When the next chapter of the SEC's history is written, Giovanni Prezioso will rightfully occupy a prominent place."

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