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Friday, February 13, 2015

R.I.P., Harvey Goldschmid

News summary by MFWire's editors

One of the key advocates of expanding independent director rules for mutual funds died yesterday of complications from pneumonia. He's probably one of the few people who ever got Jack Brennan and Ned Johnson to agree on anything.

Yesterday Columbia University revealed that one of its own, 74-year-old law professor Harvey Goldschmid, died yesterday. Bloomberg, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Wall Street Journal all reported on Goldschmid's death.

President George W. Bush appointed Goldschmid as a Democratic SEC commissioner in 2002. He served through 2005 under then-chairman Bill Donaldson (a Republican), as the SEC reacted to the Enron and market timing scandals and more by, among other things, pushing new independent director rules for mutual funds. He was also the architect of Regulation FD. Prior to that Goldschmid served as the SEC's general counsel from 1998 to 1999 and special advisor to then-SEC chair Arthur Levitt. In 2007 he joined the inaugural board of governors for Finra, on which he remained until last year.

University of Rochester president Joel Seligman tells Reuters that Goldschmid "was in a class by himself in terms of understanding the securities laws" and was more influential than any other SEC commissioner who wasn't the chair. Goldschmid was mentioned, multiple times, as a potential SEC chair pick for Obama.

"He did everything one could have done as a leading figure in securities regulation despite having not been appointed chair," Seligman tells the wire service.

"He was one of the wisest, fairest, most creative lawyers that I have ever known," Leavitt tells Bloomberg.

"Goldschmid was a stalwart defender of the investing public and contributed immeasurably to FINRA's mission of protecting investors and ensuring market integrity," states Marcia Asquith, senior vice president and corporate secretary of Finra. "He leaves an extraordinary legacy of dedication and service, which has held American investors in good stead."

Current SEC chair Mary Jo White lauds Goldschmid for his "outstanding career as a lawyer, educator and public servant."

"He was a true public servant, whose commitment to this agency lived long past the days he spent working here," White states. "The SEC mourns the loss of one of its own. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Harvey's family and loved ones."

A native of the Bronx and an alumnus of Columbia, Goldschmid taught antitrust, corporate, and securities law. Goldschmid is survived by his wife, Mary, and by his three sons, Charles, Joseph, and Paul. Read Columbia's statement to learn more about Goldschmid's life. 

Edited by: Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

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