Jay Clayton Intends to Bow Out as SEC Chairman at Year End

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced today that Jay Clayton, the current SEC Chairman, will terminate his tenure at the end of 2020.
Announced in a press release on Monday, Clayton, who has served as the Chairman at the SEC for over three and a half years, has led the US Regulator successfully in what the SEC mentioned was a “period of historic productivity and unprecedented challenges.”
Originally, sworn in on May 4 2017, he focused the agency on advancing the interests of Main Street investors through initiatives that promoted economic growth, investment opportunity, market integrity and investor protection.
During his term as one of the longest standing Chairman at SEC, the Commission strengthened companies ability to raise capital in all forums, subject to effective investor protection, and its examination and enforcement programs by setting annual records.
Additionally, under Clayton’s leadership, the Commission obtained orders for over $14 billion in monetary remedies, including a record $4.68 billion in 2020. It also returned $3.5 billion to the injured party investors. Further, the Commission paid around $565 million to . This included the sum of $114 million, the largest single award by the Commission.
Clayton said: “I am proud of our collective efforts to advance each part of the SEC’s tripartite mission, always with an eye on the interests of our Main Street investors.  The U.S. capital markets ecosystem is the strongest and most nimble in the world, and thanks to the hard work of the diverse and inclusive team, we have improved investor protections, promoted capital formation for small and larger businesses, and enabled our markets to function more transparently and efficiently.”
Clayton’s Previous Employment Experience

Jay Clayton, Chairman, US Securities and Exchange Commission. Source: LinkedIn
Prior to the appointment at the SEC, Clayton was a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. He joined the organisation back in October 1995 and became a partner in early 2001. Finally, he was promoted to a member of the firm’s Management Committee and Co-head of the firm’s corporate practice where he stayed until 2017.
Before Sullivan & Cromwell, Clayton was employed as a law clerk for Marvin Katz of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania between 1993 and 1995. During his term, he specialized in mergers and acquisitions transactions and capital markets offerings and represented prominent Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs.
Additionally, he lectured in Law and was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School from 2009 to 2017.
Clayton Leaves SEC for US Attorney Position
An announcement made by President Trump back in June stated that he will be onboarding Clayton as United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. He is replacing Geoffrey Berman, which will occur in the new year.
However, the impending change of in the US Commander-in-Chief comes at an interesting time. As it is, President-elect Joe Biden has not yet presented a name to follow Clayton’s exit as SEC Chairman, though it would position senior Democratic SEC Commissioner, Allison Lee to serve as acting chair in the meantime.
“I would like to thank President Trump for the opportunity, and the support and freedom, to lead the women and men of the SEC,” continued Chairman Clayton.  “In addition, the cooperation and assistance of Secretary Mnuchin and his team at the Department of the Treasury, Chair Powell and Vice Chair Quarles and their colleagues at the Federal Reserve, Chairmen Giancarlo and Tarbert and the CFTC, Chairman McWilliams and the FDIC, and our other fellow federal financial regulatory agencies have been remarkable.  I also want to thank my immediate predecessor, Mary Jo White, and all former Chairs of the Commission.  The opportunities we have had are a result of their efforts and stewardship.  I am also grateful to my fellow Commissioners and the SEC staff for their dedication.  Through their continued service, I know the SEC is well-positioned for prolonged success.”

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