Trump Picks Wall Street Lawyer Jay Clayton for SEC Chair

Jay Clayton is a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell and handled big public and private M&A transactions, capital markets offerings, regulatory and enforcement proceedings.

trump-sec-jay-clayton

US President-elect Donald Trump has publicly stated his pick for Securities and Exchange Commission chair: Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton got the nod on Wednesday.

Trump’s statement described Clayton as “a highly talented expert on many aspects of financial and regulatory law,” who will “ensure our financial institutions can thrive and create jobs while playing by the rules at the same time.”

Trump further stated, “We need to undo many regulations which have stifled investment in American businesses, and restore oversight of the financial industry in a way that does not harm American workers.”

Indeed, his latest statement echoes an early sentiment that a change in financial regulations is a top priority. A remake of the Dodd-Frank law is reportedly high on Trump’s to-do list when it comes to the financial sector. Changes to the Dodd-Frank law include regulatory exemptions for community banks and regional banks and a curb on the federal government’s influence over consumer-finance products like mortgages and payday loans.

Walter “Jay” Clayton

Jay Clayton is a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell and handled big public and private mergers-and-acquisitions transactions, capital markets offerings, regulatory and enforcement proceedings. Most notably, he handled the high-profile Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA) initial public offering in 2014. Clayton’s impressive list of clients include Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS), Barclays (NYSE:BCS), and Oaktree Capital Group (NYSE:OAK), to name a few.

What it means to investors

According to Reuters, Trump’s choice of an attorney who specializes in capital-raising deals and is attuned to the needs of Wall Street is a sign that the SEC will be scaling back regulations, especially those that hinder corporate growth.

Jonathan Macey, a professor at the Yale Law School, said that Clayton’s appointment as SEC chair is, “a strong positive signal the economy is a top priority of President-elect Trump and his team, and that the SEC will work together with Main Street to meet the country’s economic goals of full employment and healthy growth.”

Fortune says the SEC chair position is pivotal to investors and Fortune 500 executives because, “Trump has promised to roll back regulation in a variety of areas.”

In a statement, Trump’s transition team has said that Clayton will encourage investment, but at the same time, provide “strong oversight of Wall Street and related industries.”

It further said that accountability will be “a hallmark of his tenure atop the SEC,” and that “financial security of the American people will be his top priority.”

 

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Securities Disclosure: I, Pia Rivera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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