From the Regulators

Incoming chairman must work to rebuild agency morale

By IE Staff |

The U.S. Senate approved Willaim Donaldson as the next head of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Donaldson, 71, was co-founder of the investment bank, Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette. He was also a chairman of the New York Stock Exchange. His nomination by President Bush to succeed the troubled Harvey Pitt was confirmed by an oral vote.

Pitt resigned following the November mid-term elections in the U.S., after a series of public relations gaffes. The final straw that led to his resignation was the controversy surrounding the selection of William Webster to head the new accounting oversight board. Webster has since resigned, too, amid revelations that he was on the board of a firm with accounting trouble of its own.

Donaldson has promised to work to rebuild investor confidence. Bush applauded the Senate's quick confirmation vote. “In his new role, he will continue to crack down on corporate wrongdoing, work to protect investors and restore confidence in our capital markets,” he said in a statement Thursday night.

The North American Securities Administrators Association issued a statement today, saying, "State securities regulators look forward to working with chairman Donaldson on issues that affect Main Street investors. Without question, he faces one of the most challenging jobs in Washington -- rebuilding morale at the agency, hiring new staff to keep up with the SEC`s expanding workload, and communicating with investors, many of whom are wary and cynical. NASAA`s leadership hopes to meet with chairman Donaldson soon to discuss the role of state securities regulators and their regulatory priorities. Only by working together can state and federal regulators hope to ensure that our markets remain the envy of the world."