William Birdthistle Named Director of Division of Investment Management

Washington D.C., Dec. 21, 2021 —

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the appointment of William A. Birdthistle, currently a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, as Director of the Division of Investment Management. The Division oversees regulatory policy for investment advisers and investment companies, including mutual funds and other investment products and services relied upon by retail investors.

“Professor Birdthistle will bring remarkable expertise in investment funds to the SEC,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “The Division of Investment Management develops regulatory policies to oversee investment companies and investment advisers so that American investors can confidently save to buy homes, pay for college, or plan for retirement. I look forward to working closely with William to execute our mission.”

“I’d like to thank Sarah ten Siethoff for serving as Acting Director of the Division of Investment Management and for serving as a valuable counsel to me in my first eight months as Chair. I look forward to continuing to work with her going forward,” Chair Gensler added. 

“The SEC’s Division of Investment Management has an exceptional reputation for protecting investors in funds and the asset management arena,” said Mr. Birdthistle. “I am eager to work with the dedicated staff behind those efforts to carry out the policy agenda that Chair Gensler has established to help investors and others.”

Mr. Birdthistle joined the faculty at Chicago-Kent College of Law in 2006, and he earned the school’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2010. He also has served as a visiting professor of law at the University of Chicago Law School, where he won the Award for Teaching Excellence in 2019 for teaching securities regulation. His research explores investment funds, securities regulation, and corporate governance, and he has served as counsel of record on multiple amicus briefs to the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to academia, he practiced law at Ropes & Gray in Boston for five years as a corporate associate in the firm’s investment management practice. Mr. Birdthistle received his J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he served as managing editor of the Harvard Law Review, and received a B.A. summa cum laude in English and psychology from Duke University in 1995.

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