SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said Monday that she plans to leave as head of the agency at the end of the Obama administration in January.
White, who became the 31st SEC chair in April 2013, is one of the longest-serving Commission chiefs.
During her term she has championed the agency acting on a uniform fiduciary duty rule for broker-dealers and advisors, and has pressed Congress to raise its budget so that the agency could increase the frequency of investment advisor exams.
“It has been a tremendous honor to work alongside the incredibly talented and dedicated SEC staff members who do so much every day to protect investors and our markets,” said White, in a statement announcing her plans.
“I am very proud of our three consecutive years of record enforcement actions, dozens of fundamental reforms through our rulemakings 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. I also want to express my appreciation for the engagement and dedication of my fellow Commissioners and my financial regulator colleagues, past and present.”
Under her leadership, the Commission advanced more than 50 significant rulemakings, and made significant enhancements to its exam program, including increasing staff by nearly 20% by hiring new examiners and redeploying staff devoted to broker-dealer exams to focus on advisors and investment companies.
During White’s tenure, “oversight of the industry has been strengthened – with more data-driven, risk-based advisor examinations and a larger examination force devoted to advisor oversight,” said Karen Barr, president and CEO of the Investment Adviser Association in Washington. “We thank Chair White for her hard work and dedication and wish her well in her future endeavors.”
In late September, White said that SEC commissioners are currently reviewing staff recommendations on a rule to require “independent compliance reviews” for advisors, or third-party exams, as well as a “detailed outline” on a uniform fiduciary duty rule for brokers and advisors which is “before the commissioners for their consideration.”