The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Vincente L. Martinez, Chief of the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence is planning to leave the agency in early August.
Mr. Martinez began working in the SEC’s Enforcement Division in 2003 as a staff attorney and senior counsel. He became one of the first Assistant Directors in the Office of Market Intelligence when it was formed in 2010 as part of a major restructuring of the Enforcement Division. Mr. Martinez left the SEC in 2011 to become the first Director of the Whistleblower Office at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and he returned to the SEC in 2013 to begin serving as Chief of the Office of Market Intelligence.
“Under Vince’s leadership, the Office of Market Intelligence has served as an important center of expertise in reviewing TCRs and identifying risks and issues worthy of our pursuit,” said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC’s Enforcement Division. “Vince’s dedication, expertise, and skill has enhanced the Office of Market Intelligence’s efforts and built important bridges to other regulators.”
Mr. Martinez said, “I joined the Enforcement Division because, since my days in law school, I wanted to protect investors. Leading the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence has been the culmination of that ambition. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with the office’s extraordinarily talented, professional, and dedicated staff as well as our many partners in law enforcement, regulation, and self-regulation.”
Under Mr. Martinez’s leadership, the office has overseen the SEC’s collection, evaluation, and dissemination of tens of thousands of tips, complaints, referrals and other forms of market intelligence that come into the SEC each year. The office harvests intelligence in order to better inform the Enforcement Division’s investigative focus and priorities, and the office’s staff has provided expert support for hundreds of investigations. The Office of Market Intelligence also has partnered with other parts of the Enforcement Division to play key roles in several important and impactful initiatives, including:
- Operation Shell-Expel: A microcap fraud-fighting technology-based initiative to scour the over-the-counter (OTC) market to identify dormant companies ripe for abuse. Since 2012, the initiative has resulted in trading suspensions of more than 800 microcap stocks, which comprises more than eight percent of the OTC market.
- The Rule 105 Initiative: A program of streamlined investigations and resolutions of violations of Regulation M Rule 105 that has resulted in three rounds of sweeps addressing 172 violations by 50 defendants.
- The Rule 17a-8 Initiative: An ongoing initiative with the Enforcement Division’s Broker-Dealer Task Force to identify firms that have filed few or no suspicious activity reports (SARs) over extended periods of time and whose failure raises questions about their compliance with their obligations under the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). To date, the initiative has led to dozens of examinations and investigations focused on potential BSA violations, as well as the SEC’s first action against a firm solely for failing to file SARs when appropriate.
Victor J. Valdez, Managing Executive of the SEC’s Enforcement Division, will serve as Acting Chief of the Office of Market Intelligence following Mr. Martinez’s departure.