Susan G. Markel, chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission's Division of Enforcement, is stepping down after 14 years at the agency.

Markel will become managing director in the corporate investigations practice of business advisory firm AlixPartners.

"I have had the honor and privilege of working for investors while at the commission for more than a decade," she said in a statement. "I also have had the honor and privilege of working with the best and brightest professionals whose hard work and dedication to the ideal of doing the right thing and acting as the investor's advocate are the cornerstones of our work. This is a great agency with a great history. I will miss the work, the challenges, the excitement of our mission - and I also will miss my friends and colleagues."

Markel joined the SEC staff in 1994 as a staff accountant in the Division of Enforcement. She became an associate chief accountant in 2000 and became chief accountant for the Division of Enforcement in June 2003. During her tenure, she has participated in bringing several notable enforcement actions, including financial fraud cases involving Xerox, KPMG, Cendant, WorldCom and Cardinal Health.

Markel is the latest high-level SEC staffer who has announced plans to step down. Others include Chairman Christopher Cox, Chief Accountant Conrad Hewitt and Division of Corporate Finance Director John White.

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