Treasury’s Miller Surfaces as Possible Replacement for SEC’s Schapiro

Treasury Department Under Secretary Mary John Miller, former T. Rowe Price executive, is the top candidate to replace Schapiro

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(Editor's Note: SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro announced Monday that she was stepping down as head of the Commission on Dec. 14, ending her nearly four years in that position.)

Rumors are circulating that Mary John Miller, the Treasury Department’s Under Secretary for Domestic Finance, is the top candidate to replace SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro when she departs.

Industry officials reached by AdvisorOne say that Miller is, indeed, “qualified” to fill Schapiro’s shoes. As Under Secretary for Domestic Finance, Miller is responsible for developing and coordinating Treasury’s policies and guidance in the areas of financial institutions, federal debt financing, financial regulation and capital markets.

While Schapiro’s term doesn’t end until 2014, it has long been rumored that she would leave her post at year-end regardless of whether President Obama secured re-election. Schapiro declined to comment on whether she is planning to depart the agency.

Vanguard founder and index investing pioneer John Bogle said during a recent speech that Schapiro has been “so frustrated” with internal opposition at the agency, citing specifically the challenge to finish a rule to put brokers under a fiduciary mandate. One recent victory for Schapiro, however, was getting the Financial Stability Oversight Council to advance money-market fund reforms—a feat on which Schapiro had previously failed to get SEC commissioners to back her.

David Tittsworth, executive director of the Investment Adviser Association in Washington, notes that the appointment of any replacement for Schapiro “can be very difficult to predict.” Says Tittsworth: “If and when Schapiro resigns, my guess--and it’s only a guess--is that other potential candidates may be considered than those who are being named in various reports.”

Indeed, there is also industry banter that Richard Ketchum, CEO of FINRA, is interested in throwing his hat into the ring as a potential Schapiro replacement. Ketchum declined to comment on the speculation, however.

In her previous role at Treasury, Miller served as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Markets, where she advised the Secretary on broad matters of domestic finance, financial markets, federal, state and local finance and federal government lending policies. In this role, she was responsible for Treasury’s management of the public debt.

Prior to joining Treasury, Miller spent 26 years at T. Rowe Price Group, Inc., where she was the director of the Fixed Income Division and a member of the firm’s Management Committee.

Miller received a B.A. from Cornell University and an M.C.R.P. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also has earned her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

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Please check out SEC’s Schapiro to Step Down in December at AdvisorOne.

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