SEC nominee Mary Jo White: Wall Street ties will not interfere with job performance

Mary Jo White

Mary Jo White

Mary Jo White, who has been chosen to replace SEC Chairman Elisse Walter, told the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday that her past experience with Wall Street firms will not impede her ability to perform her job.

She said that she would not need to recuse herself from most situations and could fully participate in the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act and other regulations, saying that the “scope of recusals is quite narrow,” according to Reuters.

White is expected to receive unanimous confirmation from the Senate, which will put her in as the head of the SEC. No senator voiced opposition to her appointment to the agency. Some critics, however, have voiced concern regarding her ability to lead the regulatory agency, given her past ties to Wall Street. White performed legal services for JPMorgan, Bank of America, UBS and accounting giant Deloitte & Touche.

“[As a lawyer] you represent different kinds of clients, and you are ethically bound to represent them to the best of your ability, and I have done that,” White said, Reuters reports. “That doesn’t mean I embrace the policy thoughts of any of my clients in particular.”

If White is confirmed to the agency, she will take her spot as head of a deeply divided council, which has been working to sort through dozens of required rulemakings under Dodd-Frank and the Jumpstart Our Businesses Act and to reform the $2.6 trillion money market fund industry and potentially reform U.S. equities markets.

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