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Schapiro to step down as SEC chairman

Mary Schapiro

After almost four years in office, Mary Schapiro, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, announced on Monday that she would step down from the position on Dec. 14.

Schapiro is one of the SEC’s longest-serving chairmen, serving longer than 24 of the previous 28 chairmen. She will be succeeded by Elisse Walter, her confidante and long-time adviser.

Appointed to the position of SEC chairman by President Obama in 2009, Schapiro was unanimously confirmed by the Senate and is the only individual to have ever served as chairman of both the SEC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

“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. “Over the past four years we have brought a record number of enforcement actions, engaged in one of the busiest rule-making periods and gained greater authority from Congress to better fulfill our mission.”

During her tenure as SEC chairman, Schapiro worked to strengthen the agency’s enforcement programs. In each of the past two years, the SEC has brought more enforcement actions than ever before, with 735 actions in fiscal year 2011 and 734 in fiscal year 2012.

Before taking her position as chairman, Schapiro served as an SEC commissioner from 1988 to 1994. She was appointed by former president Ronald Reagan, reappointed by president George H.W. Bush in 1989 and named acting chairman by president Bill Clinton in 1993. Schapiro served as chairman of the CFTC until 1996.

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