Henry Hu, a University of Texas law-school professor best known for his research uncovering shady dealings in the derivatives market, is expected to be named head of the SEC's so-called Office of Risk Assessment, according to two people familiar with the situation.
"Mary Schapiro wants to create confidence in the agency's ability to handle derivatives," one source said.
The Office of Risk Assessment is responsible for overseeing complex industry practices and products such as derivatives and credit-default swaps.
Schapiro also is considering combining the risk division with the Office of Economic Analysis, which would give Hu influence over policy as well, said one person familiar with the matter.
The Office of Economic Analysis acts as the chief adviser to the SEC on economic issues, including directing the agency on long-term policy initiatives.
Hu is known for slamming hedge funds that take out hidden financial positions in companies they exercise voting power over, as well as criticizing bondholders that make bets that their companies will fail.
Reached at his office, Hu declined to comment except to confirm that he is going to work for the SEC, which he first announced at a Senate hearing on derivatives in June.