SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro to step down


Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Schapiro listens during a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) July 18, 2012 at the Treasury Department in Washington, DC.


Alex Wong

The 29th Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission Mary Schapiro announced Monday she will step down as head of the regulatory agency on December 14.

Schapiro's successor, the 30th SEC Chairman, will be Elisse Walter.

Schapiro issued a statement, thanking her staff.

“It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to work with so many dedicated SEC staff who strive every day to protect investors and ensure our markets operate with integrity,” Schapiro said.

She also highlighted the work done under her watch.

“We have brought a record number of enforcement actions, engaged in one of the busiest rulemaking periods, and gained greater authority from Congress to better fulfill our mission.”

In the last two years under Schapiro's leadership the SEC brought "735 enforcement actions in fiscal year 2011 and 734 actions in FY 2012," the SEC said in a statement.

President Obama issued a statement earlier today, thanking Schapiro for her service:

"I want to express my deep gratitude to Mary Schapiro for her steadfast leadership at the Securities and Exchange Commission. When Mary agreed to serve nearly four years ago, she was fully aware of the difficulties facing the SEC and our economy as a whole."

The President added, "I am also pleased to designate Elisse Walter as SEC Chairman after Mary's departure. I'm confident that Elisse's years of experience will serve her well in her new position, and I'm grateful she has agreed to help lead the agency."

Bloomberg News points out the SEC is going though a difficult transition as it tries to work in a new regulatory framework established by the Dodd-Frank Act.