Washington appoints interim SEC chief

Unger, a Republican, joins Democrats Isaac Hunt and Paul Carey on the three-member panel.

The appointment of the 40-year-old as an interim chairman was expected while Bush seeks a permanent replacement whose appointment must be ratified by the US Senate.

Unger has served as a commissioner of the SEC since 1997 and is best-known for championing the role of technology in the financial markets.

Levitt, 69, was the longest-serving chairman in the history of the SEC having been appointed by President Clinton in July 1993 and re-appointed for a second term in 1998. His term was due to end in 2003.

Last year he was at the forefront of accounting news, following his crusade for a new set of regulations ensuring auditor independence to safeguard investor confidence in financial reporting.

Likely contenders for the position full-time include Washington-based lawyer James Doty, Pfizer chairman William Steere and Republican congressman Christopher Cox. The process of choosing the 26th SEC chairman is expected to last several months.


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