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Law Professor Eyed for SEC Commissioner Slot; Clayton Speech Gives Nod to Active Investing

President Trump is expected to select Robert Jackson, a law professor at Columbia University, to fill the Democratic commissioner vacancy at the SEC, the Wall Street Journal reported. Hester Peirce, was recently re-nominated to the Republican spot. If approved, the nominees would join SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and Commissioners Kara Stein and Michael Piwowar. The Wall Street Journal reported that Jackson has written on the securities industry, including on corporate governance and executive compensation and is also among a group of 10 academics to petition the SEC in 2011 to require public companies to disclose their political-spending activities. Meanwhile, Chair Clayton in a recent speech continued to map out his priorities for the agency three months into his tenure. He acknowledged the industry shift from active investing toward passively managed investments and said that he personally has achieved better results from active investing despite being a longtime index investor. Clayton also expressed optimism for a fiduciary rule that would capture both the DOL’s and SEC’s priorities while benefiting retirement investors. Clayton said he was personally dismayed by the continuing prevalence of fraud against retail investors. Peter Driscoll, an acting chief of OCIE, said at a separate event that the agency will increase its focus on protecting retail investors and likely reduce its scrutiny on private equity firms, according to a WSJ report.