Mary Schapiro has been announced as the new chair of the SEC in one of the
first senior appointments by president-elect Barack Obama.
In announcing the appointments of both Schapiro and Gary Gensler – the new
head of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) – Obama said the roles
were a top priority which serve to strengthen the US financial system.
Commenting on the appointment, outgoing chairman Christopher Cox said
Schapiro was the right choice as his replacement.
‘I have worked closely with Mary for many years on a wide range of financial
industry and market regulation efforts, including the creation of FINRA and the
protection of senior investors,’ he said.
In addition, Cox said the depth of Schapiro’s experience within the SEC and
the US CFTC would be invaluable as the Wall Street watchdog faces increasing
challenges in the regulatory environment.
Schapiro, 53, was previously CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory
Authority, created in 2007 through the consolidation of the National Association
of Securities Dealers (NASD) and the member regulation, enforcement and
arbitration functions of the NYSE.
She has also served as chair and CEO of the NASD, and has been a director of
Kraft Foods Inc.
The appointment of Schapiro has not been without controversy.
It has emerged the new chair appointed one of Bernard Madoff’s sons to a
regulatory body which oversees American securities companies, according to
The appointment is effective from January when Obama takes office.
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