Washington (Aug. 15, 2003) -- The Securities and Exchange Commission has named PricewaterhouseCoopers senior partner Donald Nicolaisen, as its new chief accountant.

Nicolaisen, 59, will join the regulator in late September. He succeeds Robert Herdman in the SEC's top accounting post. Herdman resigned in November following a series of controversies that led to the selection of William Webster as the chairman of the fledgling Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.

Nicolaisen, whose selection was announced at a Thursday press conference at SEC headquarters, joined Price Waterhouse in 1967.

Between 1988 and 1994, he led the firm's national office for accounting and SEC services and later helped engineer Price Waterhouse's merger with Coopers & Lybrand.

He also was a member of the Emerging Issues Task Force of the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

In a statement Nicolaisen said, "This is an extremely challenging time for the accounting profession and the nation's financial reporting system. But these challenges provide a fantastic opportunity to improve financial disclosure and help rebuild investor confidence. I am delighted to join the SEC at this critical juncture and look forward to serving America's investors."

-- WebCPA staff

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