US Securities and Exchange Commission - VALIC

Robert Burson, Associate Regional Director of Chicago Office, to Retire From the SEC After 29 Years of Service

SEC - Robert Burson Retirement Washington D.C., Oct. 15, 2019 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Robert Burson, an Associate Regional Director of Enforcement in the Chicago Regional Office, is retiring after 29 years at the agency, all in the Chicago office.

Mr. Burson, who is departing at the end of this month, joined the Division of Enforcement staff in Chicago in 1990. Mr. Burson became a Branch Chief in 1992, Assistant Regional Director in 1994, and Associate Regional Director in the Chicago Regional Office in 1996. In that capacity, he has co-managed the Chicago Regional Office’s enforcement program for over two decades.

“For 29 years, Bob has worked tirelessly to protect Main Street investors and preserve the integrity of our markets,” said

Stephanie Avakian

Stephanie Avakian, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “His career is a model for attorneys in Enforcement and across the Commission.”

“Bob has made an indelible mark on the division through countless significant cases he investigated and supervised,” said Steven Peikin, Co-Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Bob’s legacy contains the full gamut of enforcement matters, from auditor misconduct to Ponzi schemes to advisory violations.”

In his career with the SEC, Mr. Burson has been responsible for numerous successful investigations and enforcement actions covering a wide array of securities law violations, including misconduct by investment advisers and brokers, financial reporting fraud and auditor misconduct, domestic and international offering frauds, and insider trading. Highlights of his career include:

  • More than 40 emergency court actions that protected retail investors by halting ongoing domestic and international offering frauds
  • Numerous actions alleging financial fraud and auditor misconduct, including cases against senior officers of Navistar International Corp.Quadrant 4 System Corp., and Digiliti Money Group Inc., and an administrative proceeding against national audit firm Grant Thornton LLP and two of its partners
  • Ten cases alleging misconduct arising from illegal market timing and late trading by advisory firms; and
  • Cases charging abuses by investment management professionals, including misrepresentation of portfolio strategies by investment fund managers, cherry-picking and other trading abuses, and failure to disclose conflicts of interest

In 2002, Mr. Burson received the SEC’s Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the enforcement program.

“Bob Burson has been a dedicated public servant for nearly three decades,” said Joel R. Levin, Director of the Chicago Regional Office. “In that time, he has played an invaluable role in supervising investigations, mentoring staff, and developing legal strategy in hundreds of cases. Bob has been a teacher, a leader, and a friend to generations of staff in Chicago, and we will miss him greatly.”

Mr. Burson commented, “It has been a singular privilege to spend most of my career with the extraordinary SEC enforcement team in Chicago. Every day I am impressed with my colleagues’ integrity, teamwork, and dedication to protecting investors.”

Mr. Burson is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale Law School.