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Former Goldman Sachs VP Storch is latest to leave SEC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has announced the departure of Adam Storch. The former Goldman Sachs vice president, who joined the SEC’s enforcement division as its first chief operating officer in 2009, will leave the agency next month.

Storch left his post in the Goldman Sachs business intelligence unit at 29-years old to join the SEC in a then newly-created position meant to improve efficiency in the agency’s enforcement division. The appointment, made by former SEC enforcement chief Robert Khuzami, was not without some controversy considering Storch’s Wall Street connections. (It’s worth noting that, less than a year after Storch left Goldman, the financial giant was among the first investment banks charged with fraud over marketing collateralized debt obligations, charges that resulted in a $550 million settlement.)

In announcing his departure, the SEC touted Storch’s significant contributions to the agency’s makeover in the wake of the financial crisis, including playing “a key role” in the creation of the SEC’s Office of Market Intelligence, which collects tips and opens investigations into financial crimes, as well as a whistleblower program that rewards government tipsters.

“As our first managing executive, Adam has left an indelible mark and helped transform our operations and technology functions,” current SEC enforcement director Andrew Ceresney said in a statement. “Adam has been a strong advocate for the enforcement program, a well-respected voice on agency-wide issues, and an invaluable advisor.”

Storch is the latest high-profile departure from the SEC, following the defection of the man who hired him, Khuzami, early last year. George Canellos, who stepped into a co-director role in the enforcement division with Ceresney after Khuzami’s departure, also left the SEC earlier this year to return to his career as a litigator. David Bergers, the former acting deputy director of the SEC’s enforcement division, also left the agency last year.

Storch added his own thoughts on his departure in a statement: “I am truly honored to have served as the Enforcement Division’s first chief operating officer and managing executive.  I’ve had the unique opportunity to serve under three directors during a time of extraordinary change and progress in the Enforcement Division, and I’m privileged to have worked alongside such a talented team of professionals dedicated to public service and investor protection.”

The SEC’s announcement did not include information on whether or not Storch has another job lined up, or where that may be. The SEC did not immediately respond to a request for further information.