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1366Mary Jo White Nominated To Chair SEC

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  • Baker, John
    Jan 24, 2013
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      As widely reported, President Obama announced today that he will nominate Mary Jo White to serve as a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission and will designate her as the SEC's Chairman. White will replace the current Chairman, Elisse Walter, who has been serving only since December 15, 2012, after Mary Schapiro stepped down from the post. White is an experienced litigator and the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which includes Manhattan. She became chair in 2002 of the litigation department of Debevoise & Plimpton, where her practice concentrates on internal investigations and criminal and civil defense of securities law violations. She does not have extensive regulatory experience, although her husband, John White, served as the director of the SEC's Division of Corporation Finance from 2006 to 2008. White, who is 65, announced at Obama's press conference that today is their 43rd anniversary. The initial reaction to White's nomination has been broadly positive from all sides. However, there is little indication as yet of her stands on major SEC regulatory issues.

      Obama did not make any other nominations to the SEC, although Walter's term as a commissioner expired June 5, 2012, and the term of Commissioner Troy Paredes will expire June 5, 2013. Possibly Obama plans to nominate replacements for Walter and Paredes at the same time, to ease confirmation; Walter is a Democrat and Paredes is a Republican. Reuters indicates that White previously has been identified as a political independent, like Schapiro before her.

      Walter has not as yet indicated whether she plans to stay at the SEC until her replacement is confirmed. Usually SEC Chairmen who were named to that position when first nominated do not choose to stay on after a different Chairman is named, but commissioners who became Chairman on a short-term basis, as Walter did, typically stay on after a new Chairman is named. Although Walter's term as a commissioner expired last year, she can continue to serve until the expiration of this session of Congress (which will probably be in December), unless her successor is appointed and has qualified prior to that time. If White does stay on, it may be easier for White to obtain a majority on split votes.

      A transcript of President Obama's press conference is at

      http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/01/24/remarks-president-personnel-announcement

      White's law firm biography is at

      http://www.debevoise.com/attorneys/detail.aspx?id=26af1fa8-0acf-4ef5-9c3b-1f08b1aa7de0&type=showfullbio

      The Reuters article on her nomination is at

      http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/24/us-financial-regulation-nominations-idUSBRE90N0M120130124


      John M. Baker
      Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP http://www.stradley.com
      1250 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 500
      Washington, DC 20036
      202.419.8413
      202.822.0140 fax
      FundLaw Listowner http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FundLaw/