Tag Archives: Elisse Walter

New SEC Head May Push Through Advertising Proposal for Hedge Funds

New SEC Chairman Elisse Walter

Elisse Walter, the newest head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is likely to successfully push through a deal to ease rules which have been in place for decades restricting hedge funds, buyout shops and small businesses from marketing their wares in public.

Walter, a Democrat who took over the reins of the SEC last week, recently expressed her concern about the proposal. She has fears that loosening the restrictions on public advertising could result in instances of fraud or the sales of securities whose risks investors do not completely understand. Walter pointed out that although the regulators stand to benefit from the change in rules it is still the responsibility of the SEC to insure that investors are protected from risks and oversee hedge fund compliance.

Walter is the head of a commission split between two Republican members and two Democrats, one of them her. This make-up of the commission makes it appear like a compromise proposal will be hard, if not impossible, to achieve.

Analysts contend, however, that Walter will be able to persuade at least one of the Republicans to come to her side and adopt the new rule. It is believed that she will find common interests with the Republican members of the commission who want to allow advertising in this industry. The JOBS act mandated the provision for solicitation of investors by legislation which was approved in April by Congress.

“I am optimistic that Walter and the two Republicans can reach a deal,” said Brian Lane, a former director of the corporation finance division at the SEC while Arthur Levitt was chairman during the Clinton administration.

Changing of the Guard at the SEC

Chairman Mary Schapiro and Elisse Walter of the SEC

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.”