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Trump to pick deals lawyer Clayton to lead SEC

January 4, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump is expected to pick Sullivan & Cromwell partner Jay Clayton to run the Securities and Exchange Commission, positioning a top lawyer to banks and hedge funds to lead Wall Street’s main regulator.

Trump plans to nominate Clayton for the role as soon as Wednesday, spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters on a call.

Clayton has represented Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and investment firms ranging from Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC to Oaktree Capital Group LLC, according to Sullivan & Cromwell’s website. Much of his legal work has involved mergers and acquisitions, as well as representing firms facing U.S. investigations.

He represented Goldman Sachs in connection with the $10 billion bailout it received in 2008 as part of the government’s $700 billion rescue of banks during the financial crisis. Trump has tapped several officials with Goldman Sachs’ ties for senior roles. They include Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn, who the incoming president has picked to be his top economic adviser, and Steve Mnuchin, a former partner at the firm, who has been nominated to be Treasury Secretary.

If confirmed by the Senate, Clayton would replace Mary Jo White. White has said she will step down as SEC chair when President Barack Obama leaves office later this month.

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