SEC headquarters in Washington. (Photo: National Law Journal)

Elad Roisman, the Senate Banking Committee’s chief counsel, has been nominated to serve on the Securities and Exchange Commission, replacing Commissioner Michael Piwowar, a Republican, who plans to resign on July 7.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, said in a statement that “Elad is exceptionally well-qualified for this important position at the SEC, and I congratulate him on this announcement.”

Roisman has also served as counsel to former SEC Commissioner Dan Gallagher, and before that chief counsel to NYSE Euronext.

“Having worked on securities issues for many years — in both the public and private sectors — he has demonstrated his in-depth knowledge of our capital markets and other complex issues,” Crapo said. “His wealth of experience and expertise will be an invaluable asset to the SEC, and I am confident that as a commissioner, he will work to fulfill the agency’s mission.”

Piwowar’s term is set to expire on June 5, but commissioners can stay on for 18 months after their term expires.

Commissioner Kara Stein, a Democrat whose term expired last year, is also set to leave the commission this year.

Former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt told ThinkAdvisor in a Monday email note that while he doesn’t personally know Roisman, he believes that appointing former Senate or House staff members to Commission seats “tends to politicize the Commission in a non-constructive way.”

These SEC positions, Levitt said, “should be filled by distinguished academics, practitioners, lawyers, accountants and business people. Focus should be on protecting investors and markets not ideological purity.”

Three of the current SEC commissioners — Piwowar, Stein as well as Republican Commissioner Hester Peirce — are former congressional staff members.

Roisman joins the commission as the agency takes comments on its three-pronged standard of conduct proposal for brokers and advisors.

Brad Campbell, a partner at Drinker Biddle and Reath’s Washington office, said during a May 30 webcast held by the law firm to discuss the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest for brokers that the regulation “is the beginning of a marathon, not a sprint.”

Campbell, the former head of the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, added, however, that he sees a “real incentive” for SEC Chairman Jay Clayton as well as the Trump administration to get a rule in place before the next administration, regardless of who’s in office.

“I just think the variables in terms of who the [SEC] commissioners are could make it difficult,” Campbell said, referring to the upcoming departure Piwowar, and the expected departure this year of Stein.

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