White to leave SEC chair post in January


By Ken Tysiac

Mary Jo White announced Monday that she will leave her position as chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) when President Barack Obama’s second term ends in January.

She became the commission’s 31st chair in April 2013 and has been one of the SEC’s longest serving chairs. Under her leadership, the SEC has embraced enhanced data analytics and technology in its enforcement tactics.

“I am very proud of our three consecutive years of record enforcement actions, dozens of fundamental reforms through our rule-makings that have strengthened investor protections and market stability, and that the job satisfaction of our phenomenal staff has climbed in each of the last three years,” White said in a news release.

As White departs, the SEC has completed most of its mandates under the US Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. But some of the Dodd-Frank regulations may face repeal following the election of Donald Trump to the presidency and Republican majorities in the US House and Senate.

White also faced criticism from liberal lawmakers, including influential Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who wanted the SEC to do more to hold individuals accountable for corporate wrongdoing.

Ken Tysiac (ktysiac@aicpa.org) is a CGMA Magazine editorial director.