FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Susan Goetz Markel

Alix Partners LLP
Managing Director
New York, NY, USA


Susan G. Markel is a Managing Director in the firm's Financial Advisory Services group. With more than 20 years of experience in a broad range of areas related to corporate financial reporting, she has dedicated nearly 15 years to the Division of Enforcement at the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), focusing on financial fraud and financial reporting investigations. 

Since joining AlixPartners in February 2009, Ms. Markel has focused on corporate investigations and litigation support.  Her activities have included -

  • Providing advice on the application of generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), international financial reporting standards ("IFRS") and the reporting and disclosure requirements of the federal securities laws.
  • Preparing expert opinions in matters dealing with auditor responsibilities and their potential liability. 
  • Assessing compliance with the internal controls and books and records provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for entities with operations in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.
  • Conducting internal investigations. 

Her findings and opinions have been communicated in expert witness reports as well as in reports and presentations to regulatory agencies, such as the SEC, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, and the Department of Justice.

Prior to joining AlixPartners, Ms. Markel was the Chief Accountant in the Division of Enforcement.  She joined the SEC in 1994 as a Staff Accountant in the Division of Enforcement and became Chief Accountant in 2003. She has also served as an auditor for both public and non-public entities and is a frequent speaker nationally and internationally on public reporting and accounting issues and the enforcement of related rules by the SEC.
While at the SEC, Susan conducted investigations of public companies of various sizes and in a wide range of industries, as well as the related conduct of auditors. As Chief Accountant, Ms. Markel oversaw and directed a number of financial fraud investigations involving complex issues of GAAP and GAAS.
She also participated in decisions regarding the appropriate resolution of enforcement matters as they pertained to corporations, corporate officers and employees, and independent auditors. This involved close and frequent communication with external parties including opposing counsel and other regulators or law enforcement agencies.  In certain matters, her work also included consulting with and/or reviewing the work of independent consultants appointed to assist with agreed-upon undertakings by a settling party.

Other experience/engagements related to these investigations include, but are not limited to:

  • Supervised a staff of approximately 35 accountants in the Washington, D.C. office and served as a liaison and resource for more than 50 other accountants in the SEC's 11 regional offices.
  • Facilitated the communication between the Division of Enforcement and other divisions in the Commission as well as the PCAOB on issues related to financial fraud investigations and other policy concerns.
  • Developed and conducted training sessions regarding accounting and auditing matters for Division of Enforcement staff and others, including making presentations at professional conferences such as the annual AICPA conference. 
  • Worked with criminal law enforcement agencies in matters involving violations of federal securities laws. 
  • Provided technical advice and assistance to attorneys on accounting and auditing matters.
  • Drafted documents related to the investigation, in conjunction with the case attorney or the trial unit, including investigative plans, formal order memos, document requests, action memos, administrative orders, complaints and motions.
  • Conducted interviews and testimony of witnesses including company employees, officers and directors, independent auditors and customers.
  • Analyzed evidence obtained through testimony and document review and made recommendations as to whether securities laws had been violated and, if so, what action should be taken.
  • Recommended policy positions that should be taken by the Division on numerous issues related to financial investigations.

Some of her more notable enforcement cases that resulted in actions against the company, company officers and the company's auditors include Xerox (KPMG), Cendant (Ernst & Young), and WorldCom (Arthur Andersen) She was also involved in several significant policy decisions and worked closely with Commission staff including the Office of the Chief Accountant and the Division of Corporation Finance.

Ms. Markel received the SEC's Andrew Barr Award in 2000 and the Distinguished Service Award in 2006. In addition to being recognized by the Commission, the Federal Bureau of Investigation also honored her for tireless assistance, expert advice, and keen insights in the Cendant securities fraud case.

Prior to the SEC, Ms. Markel also worked for Arthur Andersen providing litigation support in various matters related to public reporting and international trade investigations.  She graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Science in accounting from the University of Akron, Ohio. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

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