Ahmed Abonamah tapped for leadership role in SEC's muni office

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Ahmed Abonamah was named deputy director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Municipal Securities, the SEC announced Monday, filling an important leadership role previously held by the current director.

Abonamah has been with the SEC for over three years and previously was senior counsel to the director at OMS, a post he has held since August 2017. OMS coordinates the SEC’s municipal securities activities and administers its rules pertaining to muni brokers and dealers, municipal advisors, investors and issuers.

In his new role, Abonamah will oversee the office’s strategic initiatives and advise OMS's leadership on legal, strategic and policy matters in the municipal securities market, according to the press release.

”Ahmed is an exceptional lawyer and has made invaluable contributions to recent initiatives designed to improve transparency for investors in the municipal securities market,” said OMS Director Rebecca Olsen. “We will continue to rely on his strong legal analytical skills, sound judgment, and collaborative approach as he takes on this new leadership role.”

Olsen herself previously held the deputy post from 2015 until September 2017, when Jessica Kane left her position as OMS chief to go to and eventually lead the SEC’s Office of Credit Ratings. Olsen was acting director until being named director late last year.

Abonamah said he was excited to step into his leadership role at OMS.

“The municipal securities market is vitally important to not only the nation’s economy, but also to Main Street investors,” Abonamah said in the press release. “It is a privilege to get to continue to work alongside the terrific OMS staff to ensure that the municipal securities market operates fairly, efficiently, and consistently with the long-term interests of Main Street investors.”

Abonamah has had a more public role in recent months, appearing at several major municipal market events to provide explanations of the SEC's thinking on the timeliness of issuer disclosure and the Rule 15c2-12 amendments that became effective in February.

Before joining OMS, Abonamah worked as a public finance attorney at the law firm Squire Patton Boggs. There he served as counsel on a variety of public finance transactions throughout the country.

“Rebecca Olsen is building her office with smart, very capable people who have practical experience in public finance,” wrote Sandy MacLennan, National Association of Bond Lawyers past president and a partner at Squire Patton Boggs. “Ahmed is a great choice for deputy director and NABL looks forward to continuing to work with him on OMS initiatives in the future.”

Abonamah holds a B.A. from the University of Dayton and a J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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Securities law Municipal disclosure SEC enforcement Career moves SEC Washington DC