Schapiro Steps Down At SEC, Walter New Chair

Nov 26 2012 | 12:54pm ET

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro, who oversaw major changes to hedge fund regulation, will step down from the agency next month.

Schapiro will leave the SEC on Dec. 14 after leading the agency for almost four years. During that time, she led the regulator's implementation of major reforms, including those mandated by the Dodd-Frank law. Among the changes for hedge funds were mandatory registration with the SEC and a new rule that will remove 80-year-old marketing and advertising restrictions from the space.

Today, the White House said that President Barack Obama would name Elisse Walter, a current SEC commissioner, the agency's next chairwoman. While Walter's term will not be an interim measure—as a current member of the SEC, she does not require Senate confirmation—Obama is expected to name a new SEC chief at some point in the future.

"When Mary agreed to serve nearly four years ago, she was fully aware of the difficulties facing the SEC and our economy as a whole," Obama said. "But she accepted the challenge, and today, the SEC is stronger and our financial system is safer and better able to serve the American people—thanks in large part to Mary's hard work."

Schapiro is the first major member of the Obama administration to leave voluntarily following the presidential election on Nov. 6, which earned Obama a second term in office. Central Intelligence Agency Director David Petreaus was forced to resigned earlier this month in the wake of an adultery scandal.

"It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to work with so many dedicated SEC staff who strive every day to protect investors and ensure our markets operate with integrity," Schapiro, a former Commodity Futures Trading Commission chief, said. "Over the past four years, we have brought a record number of enforcement actions, engaged in one of the busiest rule-making periods and gained greater authority from Congress to better fulfill our mission."

Walter has been a member of the SEC since 2008 and served as its interim chairwoman in 2008. She has been a reliable ally of Schapiro's on the commission.


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