On Wednesday, Trump’s transition team confirmed that the president-elect will nominate Jay Clayton to be chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In recent days, Clayton, a Wall Street lawyer, had emerged as the frontrunner, ahead of other rumored considerations including Debra Wong Yang, a former U.S. Attorney, and activist investor Carl Icahn.
In a press release, Trump called Clayton “a highly talented expert on many aspects of financial and regulatory law,” who will take part in “unleashing the job-creating power of our economy by encouraging investment in American companies while providing strong oversight of Wall Street and related industries.” Clayton is currently a partner at the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell who works with Wall Street firms on mergers and acquisitions and regulatory investigations. According to the law firm’s website, Clayton represented large banks, including Goldman Sachs and Barclays Capital, during the financial crisis. He’s also represented large financial institutions looking to settle mortgage-related claims with authorities.
The SEC is often referred to as Wall Street’s watchdog. The agency is tasked with protecting investors and maintaining fair markets, which can include everything from investigating claims of unfair trading practices to implementing rules and regulations to keep financial markets—and those who trade in them—safe. That’s a large part of the reason that the nomination for the head of the SEC has been closely watched. During the campaign, President-elect Trump said that his intent was to cut regulation “massively.”