New Sheriff at the SEC: Wall Street Lawyer Jay Clayton. Experienced Industry Hand or Wall Street Shill?

Depending on whom you choose to believe, Sullivan and Cromwell partner Jay Clayton is either a smart and experienced member of the securities industry elite or simply a shill for Wall Street. I doubt Senators Crapo and Warren will see eye to eye on this, now or ever. Clayton’s client list reads like a Who’s Who of full-contact Wall Street finance and the Goldman Sachs conspiracy theorists are burning a hole in Twitter.  Personally, I’m more hopeful. The one thing I know we do NOT need is more trigger-happy, “stop-and-frisk” prosecutors running an administrative agency.

If I could communicate one message to Mr. Clayton it would be this: Seek justice, not scalps.

Jay Clayton’s job is to oversee a financial system, not to be either Eliot Ness or Franz Kafka. I hope that he can bring the agency back to a rational and efficient place, one that vigorously polices disclosure and the telling of truth, while allowing capitalism to provide the vigor and dynamism we need. The SEC’s job is to referee the game, not to pick winners and losers.

I hope that he will work diligently to steer both the SEC and FINRA back onto the rails. Both organizations traded respect for fear in an attempt to capitalize on the profit potential of huge fines. Mary Jo White and Andrew Ceresney perfected a system of  “policing for profit” that punished the smallest infractions and ignored the most severe (cucu, eccomi qua!). We need to put that era into the rear-view mirror.

I wish Mr. Clayton Godspeed on his new role.


NY Times: What the Future of S.E.C. Enforcement Holds Under Jay Clayton

Reuters: Jay Clayton Confirmed as SEC Chairman


Author: Eric D. Wanger

Eric has nearly 30 years of experience as a creative and entrepreneurial professional in roles ranging from general management, team leadership and project management to technical rolls in IT, software development financial services and law. He has run business units, managed teams and delivered projects for established global enterprises and as the founder of a number of startups. Over his nearly 30 years at work, his job titles have included Board Member (public, private and non-profit), President, Founder, Chief Operating Officer, Director of Research, Chief Investment Officer, Fund Manager, Software Developer, Securities Analyst, Web Designer, Systems Integrator, Investment Advisor, Fundraiser, Consultant and Attorney. As a software consultant, cloud based, mobile app software as a consultant to one of the world’s leading electronic medical records companies (Cerner). As Chief Investment Officer and Director of Research for a startup financial services firm (Wanger OmniWealth, LLC), he developed a proprietary, risk-based holistic reporting platform for wealthy families and a set of allocation models based on it. He has developed automated trading systems for equity and equity ETF's. Between 2002 and 2013, Eric served as a portfolio manager of the Long Term Opportunity fund (small/micro-cap equities), the Alternative Fixed Income Fund (blend of exchange traded and privately negotiated debt) and as the strategist and founder (with Ralph Wanger) for the Income and Growth Fund (multi-asset class dividend strategy). Eric was a senior investment analyst at Barrington Research Associates (Chicago) covering technology and business services. Prior to that, Eric was a software, communications, and technology analyst for the Edgewater Funds, a private equity/venture capital firm with over $1 billion under management. Before joining Edgewater funds in 2000, Eric worked in Silicon Valley providing consulting, training, and software development to early-¬stage firms. Between 1991 and 1996, Eric was a principal consultant at EDW, Ltd, a firm he founded to provide software development, training in rapid software development techniques (NeXT), and systems interoperability consulting services for large multi-vendor and distributed computer networks. EDW's clients included such companies as Fannie Mae, MCI, Swiss Bank Corp (UBS), Chrysler, Merrill Lynch, Apple Computer, Stanford University, and The Acorn Funds. Eric received his J.D. from Stanford Law School and is a member of the California Bar. He was co-founder and managing editor of the Stanford Technology Law Review. Eric was awarded a National Merit Scholarship in 1981. He holds a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-¬Champaign and received a Chartered Financial Analyst designation in 2005. Eric lives in Chicago with his three children and a fat English Labrador retriever named Casper. He enjoys classical and jazz piano, hiking and aviation. He is an instrument rated pilot. Eric serves as a trustee for the Acorn Foundation and is active at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.