SEC Set to Operate With Numerous Vacancies Through Much of 2017

According to a recent Investment News article, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will likely face ongoing vacancies in key positions through a large part of 2017.

On Saturday, December 10th, the Senate adjourned without having confirmed two Obama nominations to the Commission’s five member bi-partisan board. Given that Chairwoman Mary Jo White will step down at the end of President Obama’s term, the agency will be overseen by just two Commissioners at the start of President-elect Donald Trump’s Administration. Furthermore, it could take as long as six months for two new commissioners and a chair to join the SEC because of the time intensive processes of nomination and Senate confirmation.

Remaining on the Commission will be Republican Commissioner Michael Piwowar and Democratic Commissioner Kara Stein. Mr. Piwowar will likely be named acting chairman although both he and Stein will have to agree for any rulemaking or enforcement actions to move forward. According to Tyler Gellasch, founder of Myrtle Makena and former counsel to Ms. Stein, he doesn’t “expect to see novel enforcement cases or anything that is particularly controversial on the rulemaking front. Having two commissioners is remarkably similar to having three — you need them all to agree to address something.”

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