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SEC Names Lewis Head of Risk 'Think Tank'

Craig M. Lewis has been named chief economist and director of the Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lewis, the Madison S. Wigginton Professor of Finance at Vanderbilt University's Owen Graduate School of Management, will assume his new role next month.

The Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation was created in September 2009 to provide interdisciplinary analysis for policymaking, rulemaking, enforcement and examinations by the commission.

RiskFin, as is called, is the SEC's first new division in 37 years. The "think tank" takes in the former offices of Economic Analysis, Office of Risk Assessment, and of Interactive Disclosure. The unit's staff members have expertise in economics, risk analysis, finance, law, mathematics and statistics.

Lewis, currently a visiting academic at the SEC, "is a distinguished economist with a clear understanding of the complexities of financial markets," said SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro. He will "help to inject strong data-driven analysis into the SEC's decision-making process.

Lewis first served as a visiting academic fellow at the SEC from January to July 2010, and subsequently returned in that same capacity in January. He has provided advice on policy issues, worked on developing analytic approaches to identify violations of securities laws, and analyzed the over-the-counter derivative securities market.

Lewis has taught corporate finance and economics since 1983 and has been on the faculty at Vanderbilt since 1986. Before that, he worked for Arthur Young & Co., at the time one of the Big Eight accounting firms.

He has won multiple awards for teaching excellence and has been a visiting professor at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business, Donau University in Austria, and Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany.

In addition to teaching, Dr. Lewis has published research on volatility in stock and futures markets, margin adequacy, corporate earnings management, corporate financial policy, executive compensation, selective disclosure, and herd behavior by equity analysts.


JPMorgan Selects Baer as Retirement Chief Marketer

J.P. Morgan Asset Management has hired Benji Baer as managing director and chief marketing officer, reporting to Richard Chambers, chief marketing officer for J.P. Morgan Investment Management Americas. Baer will also serve as a member of the senior management team for Michael Falcon, head of retirement for J.P. Morgan Asset Management.

Baer joins the firm from Legg Mason, where she was head of Americas marketing. Before her career at Legg Mason, Baer held a series of senior marketing roles at AllianceBernstein, where she led marketing strategy, global marketing communications, public relations and campaign planning from 1993 through 2004.

In her new role, Baer will develop retirement solutions that address the needs of each client segment and develop a retirement brand that will be integrated across other lines of business at J.P. Morgan Chase.

"We are very pleased to have Benji on board as we develop a new retirement strategy and build communication programs to create greater awareness and deliver insights and investment solutions," Chambers said. "We are confident that Benji's expertise will help us succeed in defining a relevant and compelling retirement proposition."

Falcon added: "Providing a new generation of retirees with options that will strengthen retirement security has never been more important, and having a dedicated veteran marketing executive like Benji on our team will be a tremendous advantage as we increase our visibility in this market."


ProFunds Hires Eng as Chief Operations Officer

ProFunds Group has hired Richard Eng as chief operations officer, reporting to Michael L. Sapir, chairman and chief executive officer of the firm's investment advisors, ProShare Advisors and ProFund Advisors. In his new role, Eng will oversee fund and investor services, financial administration and information technology.

Eng was previously chief operating officer at Legg Mason Capital Management, where he oversaw executives in investment operations, client reporting and production, settlements, IT and finance. Before that, he was chief financial officer at Ramsey Asset Management, a hedge fund. Eng has also worked as product manager for all hedge fund-related software at Advent Software.


Woods Appointed CEO of DWS Investments U.S.

Michael J. Woods, U.S. head of distribution for DWS Investments, has been given the additional role of regional head and chief executive officer of DWS Investments U.S. Woods has been with DWS since August 2009. He previously was head of the financial intermediaries and institutions group at Evergreen Investments. Before that, Woods was chief executive officer of exchange-traded fund investment advisor XTF Global Asset Management and was U.S. head of sub-advisory and investment only business at Citigroup Asset Management.