SEC taps Gross as first comms head

WASHINGTON: The Securities and Exchange Commission has hired Brian

Gross, a former communications director for Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX), as

its first director of communications.



Gross told PRWeek SEC chairman Harvey Pitt created his position in order

to better coordinate the SEC's messages to its three main constituencies

- Congressional affairs, public affairs, and investor education - each

of which already has a communications department "We've needed a

consistency of message and a single point of contact," said Gross.

"We're also looking at communications to constituencies affected by the

SEC, such as securities firms and investor groups."



Gross said he was unsure what his day-to-day responsibilities or major

projects would be, as four new commissioners are expected to be

appointed to the five-commissioner staff within the next few months.

Pitt has been in office only four months.



Gross' biggest challenge will be fitting communications goals and

messages into the existing communications structure.



"When we say 'communications department' right now, it's not really a

department. It's really more of a position, working with public and

Congressional affairs. I am trying to figure out how we are going to do

this," said Gross.



In a statement, Pitt said, "Brian's knowledge of the financial services

industry and the legislative process, as well as his sensitivity to our

agency's need to maintain close contact and act in harmony with a

variety of constituencies, make him well qualified for this critical

position."



Gross was most recently at the Senate committee on banking, housing, and

urban affairs, where he was deputy staff director, chief ethics, officer

and counsel.



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