Mary Jo White to Step Down as SEC Chair

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chair Mary Jo White, after nearly four years as the agency’s head, recently announced that she intends to leave at the end of the Obama administration.

Under White’s leadership, the agency strengthened protections for investors and the markets through transformative rulemakings that addressed major issues highlighted by the financial crisis. The SEC also instituted a new approach to enforcement that has resulted in greater accountability and record actions through, among other things, the use of admissions of wrongdoing and enhanced data analytics and technology.

White, who became the 31st chair of the SEC in April 2013, will go down as one of the SEC’s longest-serving chairpersons.

In addition to completing the vast majority of the agency’s mandates under the Dodd-Frank Act and all of its mandates under the JOBS Act, White’s leadership has advanced the agency’s mission through other critical rulemakings and built robust and effective frameworks for the SEC’s regulatory regimes going forward.

White commented:

It has been a tremendous honor to work alongside the incredibly talented and dedicated SEC staff members who do so much every day to protect investors and our markets. I am very proud of our three consecutive years of record enforcement actions, dozens of fundamental reforms through our rulemakings that have strengthened investor protections and market stability, and that the job satisfaction of our phenomenal staff has climbed in each of the last three years. I also want to express my appreciation for the engagement and dedication of my fellow Commissioners and my financial regulator colleagues, past and present.