WASHINGTON – The Securities and Exchange Commission is one step closer to becoming whole again after Jay Clayton was officially sworn in as the next chair of the commission on Thursday.

The addition of Clayton brings the SEC up to three commissioners, which is still two short of its full slate of five. It is up to President Trump to nominate individuals for the remaining two spots. The president has yet to put forward any names.

SEC chair Jay Clayton
Jay Clayton was sworn in as the 32nd chair of the SEC on Thursday. Bloomberg News

Clayton, whose term as the 32nd SEC chair expires in June 2021, will join current SEC commissioners Michael Piwowar, a Republican, and Kara Stein, a Democrat, at the SEC. He described the chance to lead the SEC as “a tremendous honor.”

"The work of the SEC is fundamental to growing the economy, creating jobs, and providing investors and entrepreneurs with a share of the American Dream,” Clayton said. “I would like to thank acting chairman Piwowar for his leadership, and I look forward to working with my fellow commissioners and the talented SEC staff to ensure that our markets remain the safest and most vibrant markets in the world."

Clayton, who is said to have little direct experience working with municipal securities, devoted most of his time as a lawyer to representing large Wall Street institutions like Goldman Sachs on a wide range of matters, including securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate governance. He faced Democratic opposition for his Wall Street ties but assured legislators during his confirmation hearing that he would not be playing favorites and would be determined to root out fraud in the financial markets.

Clayton has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania and both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in economics from the University of Cambridge in England. He received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

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