Bowden, 53, joined the SEC in 2011 and has served as head of the Office of Compliance, Inspection and Examinations since June
In that role, he oversaw examinations the SEC routinely performs of brokerages, asset managers, and other financial firms to ensure they are in compliance with federal regulations.
He garnered a lot of press attention last spring after a speech in which he disclosed that the SEC had found major problems with how private equity funds were handling fees and expenses.
In that speech, he noted the SEC had uncovered “violations of law or material weaknesses in controls” from examinations of private equity funds more than half of the time.
The SEC said Bowden plans to return to the private sector, but gave no further details.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch)