The nomination of Jay Clayton to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was confirmed by the U.S. Senate earlier this week in a largely party-line vote of 61 to 37 on Tuesday, May 2. Clayton was previously an attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell, specializing in capital markets offerings and mergers and acquisitions transactions, as well as regulatory and enforcement proceedings.
Clayton is likely to shift the SEC back to its ‘core’ anti-fraud mission, with a focus on enabling higher access to capital for companies, as well as creating an easier path towards initial public offerings. Clayton has praised the ‘Jumpstart our Business Startups’ (JOBS) Act, a bill easing regulatory burdens on smaller companies, easing the path to initial public offerings and facilitating capital formation, signed into law in 2012. He has also been critical of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act.
While working for Sullivan & Cromwell, Clayton advised multiple corporations through their initial public offerings – most notably Alibaba, thus far the largest IPO in U.S. history. During the 2007-2008 financial crisis, Clayton was an adviser to Barclays Capital in their purchase of Lehman Brother’s assets, and to Bear Stearns in their fire sale to JPMorgan Chase.
ACG plans to reach out to Chairman Clayton and invite him to speak at our upcoming ACG Private Equity Regulatory Taskforce (PERT) meeting in September. PERT is a cohort that gathers over 50+ CFOs, CCOs and in-house legal counsel of middle-market private equity firms nationwide who meet frequently to focus on compliance and regulatory issues affecting the industry. The next PERT meeting is in conjunction with ACG’s annual Public Policy Summit held on September 26-28 in Washington D.C.