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Senate Banking Committee approves White’s nomination to head SEC

Mary Jo White

Mary Jo White

In a 21-1 vote, the Senate Banking Committee approved Mary Jo White’s nomination to head the SEC, and the former federal prosecutor’s nomination will be sent to the full Senate to face a final vote.

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) was the only committee member to cast a “no” vote on White’s nomination, AdvisorOne reports.

“I don’t question Mary Jo White’s integrity or skill as an attorney,” Brown said, according to Main Justice. “But I do question Washington’s long-held bias towards Wall Street and its inability to find watchdogs outside of the very industry that they are meant to police. Mary Jo White will have plenty of opportunities to prove me wrong. I hope she will.”

From 1993 to 2002, White was the first woman to serve as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York. She then returned to law firm Debevoise & Plimpton, where she represented large companies in cases involving white-collar crimes.

White agreed to recuse herself for one year from issues involving former clients, though the move could pose problems for her authority. She has also vowed to never return to Debevoise & Plimpton, DealBook reports.

The Financial Planning Coalition said that it “looks forward” to working with White in her new position as chairman of the SEC.

“In light of her vow to make the American people her ‘client,’ Ms. White’s appointment would reaffirm the government’s commitment to greater investor protection at an especially critical time,” the Coalition said, according to AdvisorOne. “[We] look forward to Ms. White’s confirmation by the full Senate in the coming days and to work with her as the SEC examines a uniform fiduciary standard, in particular, and addresses the need for more frequent investment adviser examinations.”

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