In one of President-elect Barack Obama's first moves into sorting out the mess of the financial industry in America, he has chosen Mary Schapiro to be new Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Ms. Schapiro is known as a tough regulator but, by some, is also seen as an
industry insider who will protect the interests of those she is meant
to be dealing with.
This is understandable as she has spent her life in the securities industry and is currently head of Wall Street's self-regulating body, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Mary also spent time working on various committees under Bill Clinton and George Bush after being appointed as Chair of the Federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 1994. Her private interests include directorships at Duke Energy and Kraft Foods.
No doubt we'll be talking a lot more about Ms. Shapiro in times to come, especially as more Madoff style issues arise (and there will be more Madoff's, I promise you).
Here's her full profile as pulled from the FINRA website:
Mary L. Schapiro is CEO of the Financial Industry
Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the largest non-governmental regulator for all
securities firms doing business with the U.S. public. Ms. Schapiro also serves
as Chairman of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation, the largest foundation
in the U.S. dedicated to investor education.
Created in 2007 through the consolidation of NASD
and NYSE Member Regulation, FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and
market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary
compliance and technology-based services.
FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the
securities business—from registering and educating industry participants, to
conducting examinations of securities firms; writing rules that govern the
conduct of the industry; enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws;
informing and educating the investing public; providing trade reporting and
other industry utilities; and administering the largest dispute resolution
forum for investors and registered firms.
Ms. Schapiro joined the organization in 1996 as
President of NASD Regulation and was named Vice Chairman in 2002. In 2006, she
was named NASD's Chairman and CEO. The following year, Ms. Schapiro led the
organization's consolidation with NYSE Member Regulation to form FINRA. Before
assuming her present duties, Ms. Schapiro was Chairman of the federal Commodity
Futures Trading Commission. She was appointed by President Clinton in 1994. The
CFTC is responsible for regulating the US futures markets, including financial,
agricultural and energy markets. As Chairman, she participated in the
President's Working Group on Financial Markets with the Secretary of the
Treasury and the Chairmen of the Federal Reserve Board and the SEC.
Prior to assuming the CFTC chairmanship, Ms.
Schapiro served for six years as a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange
Commission. She was appointed in 1988 by President Reagan, reappointed by
President Bush in 1989 and named Acting Chairman by President Clinton in 1993.
In January 2008, Ms. Schapiro was appointed by
President George W. Bush to the President's Advisory Council on Financial
Literacy, a 19-member council formed to promote and enhance financial literacy
among Americans. She is also an active member of the International Organization
of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and was Chairman of the IOSCO SRO
Consultative Committee from 2002 until 2006.
A 1977 graduate of Franklin and Marshall College
in Lancaster, PA, Ms. Schapiro earned a Juris Doctor degree (with honors) from
George Washington University in 1980. She is a member of the Board of Trustees
of Franklin and Marshall College. She is also a member of the Boards of
Directors of Duke Energy and Kraft Foods. Ms. Schapiro was named the Financial
Women's Association Public Sector Woman of the Year in 2000. In 2008, she
received a Visionary Award from the National Council on Economic Education
(NCEE), honoring her as a "champion of economic empowerment." Ms.
Schapiro serves on the RAND Corporation's LRN-RAND Center of Corporate Ethics,
Law and Governance Advisory Board.