Democratic Commissioner Robert Jackson Will Leave the SEC on February 14
January 25, 2020
Robert Jackson, the senior Democratic member of the SEC, will return to teaching at New York University School of Law, according to a recent announcement. He has been considered the Commission's most knowledgeable member on executive compensation, having served earlier in his career as a Treasury official responsible for executive compensation under the TARP program. He has been critical of corporate executives cashing out equity holdings during stock buybacks and has pushed for greater disclosure of non-GAAP adjustments to executive compensation.
Just prior to his departure, Jackson was a dissenting voice and vote on the SEC’s proposed rules on proxy advisory firms and shareholder proposal eligibility thresholds. He has publicly stated that he is concerned that there is “a movement afoot more generally to exclude investors from the ability to talk to the board of directors to determine the future path of American capitalism.” Commissioner Jackson was also an outspoken critic of proposals advanced by the SEC to loosen post-financial crisis investment and advisory rules. As the only Democrat on the commission until July 2019, Jackson was the sole opponent of the SEC’s revised conflict of interest standards for stock brokers and financial advisers. He also voted against easing the “Volcker Rule,” a Dodd-Frank Act provision banning banks from making certain risky investments with the company’s own capital.
Commissioner Jackson was nominated by President Trump and confirmed on January 11, 2018. His term officially expired in June 2019, but by law, SEC Commissioners can serve until 18 months after their term expires or their successor is nominated, whichever occurs sooner. Allison Lee remains as the sole Democratic SEC commissioner; however, President Trump is expected to nominate Caroline Crenshaw, an attorney on Commissioner Jackson’s staff, to replace him. It is unknown when such a nomination will be formally submitted to the Senate.