On Monday, November 26th, Mary Schapiro announced that she will step down as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission after heading the agency for the past four years. The President has designated current SEC commissioner Elisse Walter to become the new Chairman. It is unclear whether the next person nominated to fill the open commissioner seat will be appointed chairman or if Walter will remain in that role through the end of next year. Because Walter was already confirmed by the Senate to serve as a commissioner, current law allows her to become chairman without another confirmation until the end of 2013. According to the Wall Street Journal, Walter will serve as chairman pending President Obama nominating a long-term successor to replace Schapiro. Likely replacements being considered include former Citigroup and Bank of America executive Sallie Krawcheck, the SEC’s Director of Enforcement Robert Khuzami, and FINRA CEO Richard Ketchum. Although Treasury official Mary J. Miller was initially considered a contender to head the agency, more recent reports indicate that she is not interested in the job.
With two Republican members and two Democratic members remaining on the Commission, new rulemakings are unlikely to emerge from the agency in the near-term until Schapiro’s replacement takes office. The next candidate nominated by the President to head the SEC would first need to be confirmed by the Senate before taking over as the agency’s Chairman. Schapiro’s last day at the SEC will be December 14th.
From FSI President & CEO Dale Brown:
“Mary is a dedicated public servant and we owe her a debt of gratitude for answering the president’s call to serve during the most challenging, turbulent times we’ve experienced in decades. While we have had differences on policy, Mary and her staff have always been open to dialogue and input from those on the front lines of providing financial advice to middle America. I am honored to know her and look forward to seeing what she will accomplish next.”