SEC Names New Chief Accountant

Nine months after SEC Chief Accountant Robert Herdman resigned amid controversy, the Securities and Exchange Commission has announced the appointment of a new Chief Accountant.

Donald T. Nicolaisen, 59, is currently a senior partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP where he has served as a member of the international board for nine years, and in a number of management and leadership positions since joining the firm in 1967. He was also member of the Emerging Issues Task Force of the Financial Accounting Standards Board.

"I feel passionately that the accounting profession must continue to raise the standards for audit quality and ethical behavior," Nicolaisen said at the news conference with SEC Chairman William Donaldson who made the announcement. "I will enforce the law and demand that people act with integrity and ethics. As a regulator, I will ensure that investor interests are put above the interests of all others."

As Chief Accountant, Mr. Nicolaisen will oversee accounting policy initiatives at the SEC and will lead the SEC's efforts towards both principles-based standards and international standards convergence - two large initiatives that are gaining momentum within the profession.

Under SEC policy, Mr. Nicolaisen will have to remove himself from any decisions involving PricewaterhouseCoopers or its corporate clients for the period of at least one year. His will assume his new role as Chief Accountant later next month.

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