The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sworn in Mary Schapiro as the 29th chairman. Schapiro was appointed by President Barack Obama on 20 January and unanimously confirmed by the US Senate. She is the first woman to serve as the agency’s permanent chairman.
“Seventy-five years after this great agency was founded, the SEC must play a critical role in rebuilding investor confidence, reviving our markets, and rejuvenating our economy,” said Schapiro. “I’m honoured and grateful to be entrusted with leading this agency during such an important time – when the SEC must effusively be the investor’s advocate. We will work to deepen the SEC’s commitment to transparency, accountability, and disclosure while always keeping the needs and concerns of investors front and centre.”
Previously, Schapiro served as a commissioner at the SEC from December 1988 to October 1994. She was appointed by President Ronald Reagan, re-appointed by President George H. Bush in 1989, and named acting chairman by President Bill Clinton in 1993. She left the SEC when President Clinton appointed her chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where she served until 1996.
Immediately prior to her new SEC appointment, Schapiro was chief executive officer of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business with the US public. She joined the organisation in 1996 as president of NASD Regulation, and was named vice chairman in 2002. In 2006, she was named NASD’s chairman and chief executive officer. The following year, she led the organisation’s consolidation with NYSE Member Regulation to form FINRA.
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