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Private Equity Lawyer Tapped for SEC Chief

President-elect Donald Trump intends to nominate Jay Clayton to lead the US financial regulator.

Jay Clayton, a finance lawyer whose clients include Goldman Sachs, Och-Ziff Capital Management, and Oaktree Capital, is likely to become the next head of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

President-elect Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he intends to nominate Clayton for the chairman position. Mary Jo White, who has served as SEC chair since April 2013, announced in November that she would step down at the end of the Obama administration.

Andrew Ceresney, director of the SEC’s enforcement division, announced his exit a month later.

“Jay Clayton is a highly talented expert on many aspects of financial and regulatory law, and he will ensure our financial institutions can thrive and create jobs while playing by the rules at the same time,” Trump said in a statement. “We need to undo many regulations which have stifled investment in American business, and restore oversight of the financial industry in a way that does not harm American workers.”

Clayton is currently a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, where he practices law regarding mergers and acquisitions, private equity deals, leveraged finance, and regulation.

“If confirmed, we are going to work together with key stakeholders in the financial system to make sure we provide investors and our companies with the confidence to invest together in America,” Clayton said in a statement. “We will carefully monitor our financial sector, as we set policy that encourages American companies to do what they do best: create jobs.”

Under White and Ceresney, the SEC had brought a record 2,850 enforcement actions totaling more than $13.4 billion in financial sanctions, including “first-of-their-kind” cases in asset management, the SEC said. These actions included an increased focus on private equity fees, including high-profile charges against Blackstone and KKR.

Related: The SEC’s New Co-Chief of Asset Management Enforcement

| Amy.Whyte@strategic-i.com | 646-308-2775