April 21, 2011

White House Said to Mull Gallagher as Casey's SEC Replacement

Casey's five-term expires in June and the former deputy director may be nominated to replace her

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from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Risk-Based Oversight of Investment Advisors Even if the SEC had a larger budget and more resources, it is doubtful that the Commission would have the resources to regularly examine all RIAs. Therefore, the SEC is likely to continue relying on risk-based oversight to fulfill its mission of protecting investors.
  • Conducting Due Diligence of Sub-Advisors and Third-Party Advisors Engaging in due-diligence of sub-advisors isn’t just a recommended best practice— it is part of the fiduciary obligation to a client. An RIA should be extremely reluctant to enter a relationship with a sub-advisor who claims the firm’s strategy is proprietary.

President Barack Obama may nominate Daniel Gallagher, a former Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) official, as one of the agency’s five commissioners, replacing Kathleen Casey, whose five-year term expires in June, according to Bloomberg.

Bloomberg says that Gallagher is a former SEC deputy director who left the agency in 2010 to become a partner in the Washington office of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP. The White House hasn’t announced the selection, Bloomberg reports.

SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar’s term expired in June 2010. Commissioners can stay in office up to 18 months after their term expires if the President has not selected a replacement.

Gallagher, 38, “oversaw the agency’s response to the 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and worked on the Credit Rating Agency Reform Act,” Bloomberg says. Gallagher and James Brigagliano were named co-acting directors of the agency’s trading and markets division after Erik Sirri stepped down in April 2009.

Sirri, who’s now a professor of finance at Babson College, is also now leading the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s (MSRB) study of the municipal securities market. The study, MSRB says, “will use municipal market trading data to examine transaction costs, price dispersion and other issues in the municipal bond market.”

Casey and Troy Paredes are the two Republican Commissioners at the SEC. Both have asked Congress to ensure the SEC performs a more rigorous cost analysis on the rule that the SEC is attempting to craft that would put brokers under the same fiduciary standard as advisors.

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