After Nearly Two Years, Securities and Exchange Commission Finally Has Full Slate of Commissioners
January 6, 2018
In one of the busiest and most productive weeks in recent memory, during the week before the holiday recess, the U.S. Senate confirmed the nominees for SEC Commissioner, Republican Hester Pierce and Democrat Robert Jackson. Former SEC Commissioner Luis Aguilar’s resignation on December 31, 2015 marked the last time the Securities and Exchange Commission enjoyed a full set of five Presidentially-appointed Commissioners. For nearly two years, the SEC has operated on a short-handed basis, hampered by a three-Commissioner quorum requirement which allowed any dissenting Commissioner to thwart any rulemaking efforts by refusing to appear at the meeting. And while the three-member commission notched certain helpful "accomplishments" such as the pay ratio staff and Commission guidance, SEC Chair Jay Clayton can now more directly pursue his agenda with the renewed ability to hold rulemaking votes even where Democrat Commissioner opposition may arise. Based on the regulatory agenda released in December, the SEC is unlikely to take any near-term action of the clawback and pay for performance rules still outstanding from the Dodd-Frank Act. However, Mr. Clayton has indicated the SEC might act on broader proxy issues by re-opening the comment period on the SEC’s 2010 proxy plumbing concept release, which could also address proxy advisory firm reform, which the Center would strongly support, consistent with legislation passed by the House just before the holiday break. Additionally, further rulemaking or Staff Action on shareholder proposal resubmission thresholds is possible.