WASHINGTON — President Obama has nominated Luis Aguilar to a second term at the Securities and Exchange Commission and WilmerHale partner Daniel Gallagher to replace Kathleen Casey, whose term as SEC commissioner expires in July.
Both have experience with municipal securities and would serve five-year terms if they are confirmed by the Senate.
Aguilar, a Democrat who joined the SEC on July 31, 2008, is the one commissioner besides Elisse Walter who has called for repeal of the Tower Amendment.
The amendment, sponsored by the late Sen. John Tower, R-Texas, and added in 1975 to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, bars the SEC and Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board from requiring muni issuers to file disclosure documents with them before issuing securities. The MSRB is prohibited from requiring issuers to file documents with it after issuing bonds as well.
Aguilar urged Tower be repealed at an SEC meeting in July 2009 when the commission voted to propose amendments to improve its Rule 15c2-12 on muni disclosure. The amendments were eventually finalized and implemented.
Aguilar’s term expired last June 5, but he is permitted by law to stay on at the SEC until a qualified successor is appointed or the next session of Congress has expired.
Before joining the SEC Aguilar was a partner at the law firm of McKenna, Long & Aldridge LLP, specializing in securities law. He previously was general counsel, executive vice president, and corporate secretary of INVESCO.
Gallagher, a Republican, practices securities law at WilmerHale, focusing on regulatory issues and market-related enforcement matters. He joined the law firm in February 2010 after leaving the SEC, where he held several positions over a four-year period.
He had some involvement with muni issues while at the SEC, sources said. He was co-acting director of the trading and market division from April 2009 to January 2010. Before that he was deputy director of the division for about a year.
Gallagher was counsel to former SEC chairman Christopher Cox from the fall of 2007 to July 2008 and was counsel to former commissioner Paul Atkins from January 2006 until fall 2007.
Cox launched an initiative to step up enforcement and improve disclosure in the municipal market in early 2007. While Gallagher was not directly involved with the effort, he gained knowledge about muni enforcement matters and regulatory issues while counseling Cox and Atkins, the sources said.
If Aguilar and Gallagher are confirmed and sworn in at the SEC, the commission will have two Democrats, two Republicans, and one independent. Shapiro is an independent, Walter is the other Democrat and Troy Paredes is the other Republican.