In a 61-37 vote,
the Senate approved the nomination, with some moderate Democrats
joining their Republican colleagues in supporting his
Clayton could be officially sworn in as SEC chairman as soon as
The White House still must complete some paperwork, including an
action by President Trump to formally designate him as SEC
Clayton is a longtime partner at law firm Sullivan & Cromwell
who specializes in advising clients on public and private
mergers and acquisitions and capital-raising efforts.
Clayton worked on the initial public offering of Alibaba Group
Holding Company, and has also represented Goldman Sachs, where
his wife Gretchen works.
She is now expected to step down from her post, a move that will
make it easier for her husband to mitigate potential conflicts
"I look forward to working closely with my fellow Commissioners
and the dedicated career staff at the SEC to serve the American
public and advance the SECís important mission," Clayton said in
Many current and former SEC staffers are optimistic about
Clayton's leadership, and Clayton is expected to focus some of
his efforts on looking for ways to ease regulatory burdens that
might hinder companies from raising capital.
But in the debate leading up to the Senate vote on Tuesday, more
progressive-leaning Democrats said they were concerned his close
ties to Wall Street will create too many conflicts and may lead
to weaker oversight.
"Mr. Claytonís law firm and former clients will create a steady
stream of conflicts for him, forcing him to recuse himself in
cases involving former clients for two of the four years he
could serve as chair," said Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown, the
ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee.
"He will be sitting on the sidelines of potential enforcement
actions against some of the biggest Wall Street banks - Goldman
Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, and UBS," he added.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch, editing by G Crosse and Dan
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