By Bill Flook
The Senate on August 6, 2020, confirmed Hester Peirce and Caroline Crenshaw to the SEC, marking a swift and relatively smooth path to confirmation for the two nominees. The vote comes a day after the nominations advanced out of the Senate Banking Committee.
The addition of Crenshaw will bring the SEC up to a full complement of five commissioners for the first time since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic. A swearing-in date had not been set as of Friday afternoon, according to an SEC spokesman.
In a statement, Chairman Jay Clayton and Commissioners Elad Roisman and Allison Lee applauded Crenshaw’s and Peirce’s “long standing commitment to investors” and said they look forward “to their continued work to advance the SEC’s vital mission of protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitating capital formation.”
Peirce, a free-market proponent and former senior counsel with the Senate Banking Committee staffer, joined the commission in 2018 to fill a Republican seat left open by the exit of Commissioner Dan Gallagher. She has also worked as a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Mercatus Center.
Crenshaw is a senior counsel with the SEC and has worked in a number of roles at the commission, including as counsel to ex-commissioners Kara Stein and Robert Jackson. She fills a Democratic seat on the commission left vacant by Jackson’s departure earlier this year.
The Investment Company Institute (ICI), which represents mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (EFTs), and other funds, in a statement called Crenshaw “a valuable addition to the Commission,” while saying that Peirce’s “academic and public service background and current distinguished tenure on the SEC provide valuable insight and continuity as we fight through the challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The full Senate vote comes weeks after a hearing for Peirce and Crenshaw that fell on the 10-year anniversary of the signing of the Dodd-Frank Act. The virtual hearing was largely sedate, aside from a tense exchange between Peirce and Sen. Elizabeth Warren over Peirce’s refusal to support more comprehensive disclosure requirements on the private equity industry. Warren told Peirce it would be a “mistake” to confirm her for another term.PL111-203
This article originally appeared in the August 10, 2020 edition of Accounting & Compliance Alert, available on Checkpoint.
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