President Trump on Monday named Elad Roisman acting chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the agency announced.

Roisman, a Republican, was nominated by Trump and confirmed to the SEC in 2018 after serving as the chief GOP counsel on the Senate Banking Committee. He succeeds former Chairman Jay Clayton, who was appointed to the SEC by Trump and led the investment regulator since May 2017.

Clayton, whose SEC term expires in 2021, said in November that he would resign from the SEC at the end of 2020. His announcement came months after Trump nominated Clayton to replace Geoffrey Berman, the former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

While Clayton had sought to remain in the Trump administration while returning home to New York, his lack of prosecutorial experience and the controversy of Berman’s firing derailed his nomination. He had been a partner at law firm Sullivan & Cromwell before joining the SEC, specializing in Wall Street mergers, acquisitions and stock offerings.

Roisman will lead an SEC evenly divided along party lines, serving with Republican Commissioner Hester Peirce and Democratic Commissioners Allison Lee and Caroline Crenshaw. All were nominated by Trump to the SEC, which is legally barred from having any more than three members from either political party.

Clayton’s departure also gives President-elect Joe Biden an opening to install a Democratic majority on the SEC with a new member. SEC commissioners serve fixed terms, but the president can nominate any commissioner to serve as chairman. Biden could nominate either Lee or Crenshaw to chair the SEC or nominate another Democrat to replace Clayton and serve as chairman.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden

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