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SEC Chairman Jay Clayton Set To Step Down

Jay Clayton, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Jay Clayton, Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, confirmed today that after serving for more than three and a half years, he will conclude his tenure at the end of this year. 

Chairman Clayton was sworn in on May 4, 2017, and will leave the SEC as one of its longest serving Chairs.  During his tenure, Chairman Clayton focused the agency’s resources on advancing the interests of Main Street investors through initiatives that promoted economic growth, investment opportunity, market integrity and investor protection.  Under Chairman Clayton’s leadership, the Commission enhanced the ability of businesses of all sizes to raise capital in our public and private markets, subject to strong and effective investor protections. 

The Commission also strengthened its examination and enforcement programs, setting various annual records.  During Chairman Clayton’s tenure the Commission obtained orders for over $14 billion in monetary remedies, including a record $4.68 billion in fiscal year 2020, and returned approximately $3.5 billion to harmed investors.  The Commission conducted over 10,000 exams, including a record for the number of investment adviser exams in fiscal year 2018.  In addition, during Chairman Clayton’s tenure, the Commission paid approximately $565 million to whistleblowers, including the largest single award in the program’s history ($114 million). 

“Working alongside the incredibly talented and driven women and men of the SEC has been the highlight of my career,” said Chairman Clayton.  “I am proud of our collective efforts to advance each part of the SEC’s tripartite mission, always with an eye on the interests of our Main Street investors.  The U.S. capital markets ecosystem is the strongest and most nimble in the world, and thanks to the hard work of the diverse and inclusive SEC team, we have improved investor protections, promoted capital formation for small and larger businesses, and enabled our markets to function more transparently and efficiently.” 

“I would like to thank President Trump for the opportunity, and the support and freedom, to lead the women and men of the SEC,” continued Chairman Clayton.  “In addition, the cooperation and assistance of Secretary Mnuchin and his team at the Department of the Treasury, Chair Powell and Vice Chair Quarles and their colleagues at the Federal Reserve, Chairmen Giancarlo and Tarbert and the CFTC, Chairman McWilliams and the FDIC, and our other fellow federal financial regulatory agencies have been remarkable.  I also want to thank my immediate predecessor, Mary Jo White, and all former Chairs of the Commission.  The opportunities we have had are a result of their efforts and stewardship.  I am also grateful to my fellow Commissioners and the SEC staff for their dedication.  Through their continued service, I know the SEC is well-positioned for prolonged success.”   

Overseeing a Historically Productive Rulemaking Agenda

Under Chairman Clayton’s leadership, the agency experienced a historically productive rulemaking period, advancing more than 65 final rules to date from the Commission’s policy divisions and offices, many of which modernized and improved rule sets that had not been reviewed and updated in decades.  To promote transparency and engagement with market participants, Chairman Clayton established the practice of using the agency’s congressionally-mandated near-term agendas as a transparent roadmap for Commission’s regulatory work over the next year.  Under Chairman Clayton, the SEC has to date timely advanced an average of 86% of the initiatives on the near-term agendas.

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