Mary Schapiro, the chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that she will leave her role at the head of the US regulator on December 14.
Schapiro has served as the SEC chief since her appointment by President Barack Obama on January 20 2009. A release from the regulator points to an overhauled enforcement regime during her tenure, with 735 actions in 2011 and 734 in the full year 2012 cycle.
During Schapiro's management, the SEC has also been undertaking a period of unprecedented rulemaking activity, brought about by the financial crisis and the establishment of the Dodd-Frank Act. Other initiatives include the SEC's whistleblower program, and the ongoing reform of the derivatives market.
Prior to her current period at the SEC, Schapiro also served as its head from 1988-1994, first appointed by President Ronald Reagan, reappointed by President George HW Bush in 1989 and named acting chairman by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She then served as chairman of the SEC's sister regulator, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) until 1996 when appointed by President Clinton, and remains the only person to hold the top titles at both agencies.
A replacement, under US law, will normally be nominated by President Obama and will have to be confirmed by the US Senate in due course. The White House has already nominated Commissioner Elisse B Walter, but according to the New York Times, as Walter is already a serving member of the SEC and has therefore received approval from the Senate, her appointment will not require an interim period or Congressional approval.
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