Jay Clayton confirmed as SEC chairman

The Sullivan & Cromwell private equity partner will succeed Mary Jo White as head of the US regulatory agency.

The US Senate approved Jay Clayton’s candidacy to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday.

The Senate voted 61-37 in favour of Clayton who was nominated by President Donald Trump. The ‘yes’ votes included nine Democrats and one independent.

Clayton cleared the penultimate stage of his nomination last month when the Senate Banking Committee voted 15-8 to approve him, as reported by sister title pfm.

Clayton was a partner at New York-based law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, where his clients included Oaktree Capital, Och-Ziff Capital Management and Goldman Sachs.

Under SEC ethics rules, Clayton must recuse himself for two years from enforcement actions that involve his previous clients or anyone represented by Sullivan & Cromwell. Democrats opposed to his appointment have questioned his ability to effectively serve as chairman, given these restrictions.

Others spoke out about his deep ties to Wall Street – he counts some of the financial services industry’s biggest names among his clients. But throughout his vetting process Clayton said he would not show bias and would serve in the interest of the public.