The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced it has named Gabriel Benincasa as chief risk officer, a position created by Chairman Jay Clayton to strengthen the SEC’s risk management and cybersecurity efforts. Benincasa is the first person to hold the position.
In a statement, the SEC said Benincasa would coordinate the agency’s efforts to combat risk and would act as a key adviser on other matters related to enterprise risks and controls.
“Establishing the chief risk officer position at the SEC is an important step forward in our continuing efforts to strengthen the agency’s risk management program,” said Clayton. “Gabe is an experienced senior leader with deep risk, legal, compliance, and financial markets expertise. I am certain we will benefit from his advice and insights.”
In 2016, the SEC’s EDGAR filing system was hacked, prompting Clayton to create the role to harden cybersecurity. “The 2016 intrusion and its ramifications concern me deeply,” Clayton said in a statement at the time. “I am focused on getting to the bottom of the matter and, importantly, lifting our cybersecurity efforts moving forward.”
Benincasa was previously an attorney at Davis Polk & Wardwell. He held a number of senior roles at financial firms. Benincasa recently joined Patomak Global Partners in New York, a financial services consultancy headed by Paul Atkins, who served on Trump’s transition team as a top adviser on financial regulation. Atkins served as an SEC commissioner from July 2002 to August 2008.
The SEC also said Julie Erhardt would be returning to the agency as deputy chief accountant for technology and innovation in its Office of the Chief Accountant. Erhardt served as acting chief risk officer while the SEC recruited the first CRO.
“It is an honor to serve America’s investors and markets as the SEC’s first chief risk officer,” Benincasa said in a statement. “I look forward to joining the team and building upon existing programs to help the agency tackle current and future challenges.”