The chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Donald T. Nicolaisen, will leave the commission in October to return to the private sector.Nicolaisen, 61, joined the SEC under former Chairman William Donaldson in September 2003 and led numerous initiatives to improve financial disclosure, strengthen the audit process and rebuild investor confidence.

His departure will leave Donaldson's successor, Christopher Cox, with another hole to fill at the SEC. Cox, who took office Aug. 4, is already looking to fill the director positions for the market regulation and investment management divisions.

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