Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Schapiro will be leaving her post in December after spending a stormy four years re-making the agency’s ravaged reputation. She will be handing over leadership, at least temporarily, to a close one of her allies, Elisse Walter.
Walter is presently the SEC Commissioner who has supported Schapiro on almost all of the most critical issues she and the SEC have dealt with over the past several years. She has already been named as the chairman-designate and will take over when Schapiro leaves in December. This move will buy time for President Obama to pick a permanent replacement and then win the approval of the Senate.
The White house announced that a candidate for the chairmanship will be nominated soon. Walter is likely to be considered, along with Treasury official Mary Miller. Miller is a veteran of thirty years at T. Rowe Price and has not been shy regarding her views on the necessity of making money markets safer for investors.
“Elisse has been viewed as being in tune with Mary Schapiro’s agenda,” said Barry Barbash, a former director of the SEC’s division of investment management, now an asset management lawyer at Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP in Washington. “If the idea is to keep the SEC running the way it’s been running with the same policies, Elisse would seem an appropriate choice.”