Senate panel to weigh confirmation for
SEC nominee Clayton
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[March 23, 2017]
By Sarah N. Lynch
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jay Clayton, the
Wall Street attorney tapped by President Donald Trump to lead the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission, will face questions on his vision
for the agency at his confirmation hearing on Thursday before the Senate
A partner at Sullivan & Cromwell who is not registered with any
political party, Clayton has worked on high-profile initial public
offerings like Alibaba Group Holding Inc <BABA.N> and is widely expected
to focus his efforts on ways the SEC can foster economic growth and help
companies raise capital.
Clayton will pledge to be tough on fraudsters in his opening statement
to the committee, according to his prepared remarks.
"Bad actors undermine the hard-earned confidence that is essential to
the efficient operation of our capital markets," he plans to say.
The SEC enforces securities laws and regulates U.S. stock, options and
Clayton is expected to win confirmation easily. But he can expect sharp
questioning from Democrats such as Senator Elizabeth Warren of
Massachusetts, who is expected to ask about his professional ties to
Wall Street, particularly with Goldman Sachs <GS.N>, a bank he
represented during the financial crisis and that employs his wife,
Clayton's client list has included Barclays <BARC.L>, Deutsche Bank
<DBKGn.DE> and the Royal Bank of Canada <RY.TO>, as well as Bill
Ackman's hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management, and William
Erbey, former executive chairman of mortgage servicer Ocwen Financial
Corp <OCN.N>, who was forced to resign as part of a settlement stemming
from an investigation into improper foreclosures.
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Clayton will recuse himself from matters in which he has a financial
interest, according to his disclosures with the Office of Government
His wife is expected to resign her post at Goldman if he is
confirmed by the full Senate.
Committee Republicans led by Chairman Mike Crapo of Idaho are likely
to press Clayton for some of his ideas on how to engender capital
formation, a goal the Trump administration has embraced.
Cindy Fornelli, executive director at the Center for Audit Quality,
a nonprofit whose board includes corporate chief executives and
audit firms, said she hoped Clayton would continue a project started
by his predecessor, Mary Jo White, to streamline corporate
"I would be surprised if he didn't," she told Reuters in an
interview before the hearing. "He is a transactional lawyer and
knows very well the complexities and arcane nature of our disclosure
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Linda Stern and Peter
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