President Biden’s nominee for Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Gary Gensler, was confirmed by the Senate on April 14, 2021.
Gary Gensler, a professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, a former investment banker and former chair of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission during the Obama administration, was sworn in late last week as the Chair of the SEC. He succeeds SEC Acting Chair, Allison Lee. The SEC now has five sitting Commissioners – three Democrats and two Republicans.
Mr. Gensler was confirmed for the remainder of former SEC Chair Jay Clayton’s term, which ends June 5, 2021. The Senate will hold a separate vote to confirm his reappointment for a term expiring June 5, 2026.
Through public statements during his nomination hearing before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Mr. Gensler offered clues as to the future direction of the SEC on Commission matters. Specifically, his responses to questions during the hearing signal that the SEC may have the following new rulemaking priorities:
■ Consider the board diversity proposal that Nasdaq submitted to the SEC,
■ Expand required human capital disclosure,
■ Adopt mandatory environmental, social and governance reporting, and
■ Modify rules regulating proxy advisory firms.
Mr. Gensler did not signal when the SEC would adopt final rules on Dodd-Frank’s mandatory clawback requirement and pay for performance disclosure.
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