The Securities and Exchange Commission today appointed Thomas J. Butler as director of the agency's new Office of Credit Ratings.

The SEC's Office of Credit Ratings was created by the Dodd-Frank Act and is responsible for overseeing the nine registered Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organizations (NRSROs). Among its responsibilities is conducting an annual exam of each credit rating agency and issuing a public report.

Prior to creation of the Office of Credit Ratings, NRSRO examinations required under Dodd-Frank were conducted by the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, which issued the first public report regarding the annual examinations last September.

In his new position, Butler will oversee a staff of about 25 lawyers, accountants and examiners responsible for examining and monitoring the NRSROs. His appointment is effective as of June 18.

Butler spent 14 years working at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and its predecessors, including Citi Global Wealth Management, where he held senior executive positions for several business units. Butler was a managing director and chief operating officer for the Investment Strategy, Investment Advisory, Global Investments and Public Sector Group units.

-Jim McConville