Industry experts speculate about Trump's SEC nominee

Industry experts speculate about Trump's SEC nominee
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Tradition holds that the acting chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission resigns upon the inauguration of a new president.

Thus, many industry experts expect Chairwoman Mary Jo White to step down when newly elected President Donald Trump takes office in January. 

Should that happen, the question becomes — who does President TrumpDonald TrumpMore than two-thirds of Americans approve of Biden's coronavirus response: poll Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor Mexico's president tests positive for COVID-19 MORE select to head the SEC?


Jim Angel, associate professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business, told The Hill Extra the nomination process for SEC chairman is often low key relative to other office selections. 

“To those of us who follow the securities industry, the SEC is a big deal, but in the grand Washington scheme it’s really a bit player,” Angel said. “Presidents tend to select safe people, usually people who have industry and regulatory experience. It’s also not the agency you have a big fight over." 

Brian Gardner, managing director of financial services firm KBW, told The Hill Extra President Trump will likely rely on Vice President-elect Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceCancel culture comes for the moderates Trump pressed DOJ to go to Supreme Court in bid to overturn election: report Schumer calls for DOJ watchdog to probe alleged Trump effort to oust acting AG MORE and other staffers to choose the SEC chairman while he concentrates on Cabinet position nominees. 

“I think that lends itself to kind of a traditional, orthodox approach,” Gardner said. “I suspect the chairman will have a very long resume, either as a lawyer, or as an expert in capital markets.”

With those characteristics in mind, Angel said former Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Chief Executive Officer Richard Ketchum is the ideal selection to head the SEC.

“Rich Ketchum has been a lifelong public servant with some stints in the private sector,” Angel said. “He knows the markets inside and out and is probably the most qualified person on the planet, bar none, to run the SEC.”


There remains the possibility the Trump administration chooses a close ally as a reward for his or her support during the election. Gardner said the Trump campaign’s lack of a traditional finance and fundraising apparatus may leave the new president with fewer backers who are interested in the position. 

Gardner said he could see a scenario in which Michael Piwowar, an acting commissioner and Republican, gets promoted to chairman. 

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