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August 11, 2008

SEC Rounds Out Top Echelon

By Nina Mehta

The Securities and Exchange Commission, which has operated with just three commissioners since February, will soon have a full slate. The U.S. Senate in June approved three new commissioners, including a replacement for Paul Atkins, who earlier this year said he would leave the SEC in August.

The new regulatory execs are Troy Paredes, Luis Aguilar and Elisse Walter. Aguilar and Walter, who was sworn in as a Commissioner last month, are Democratic appointments, since by law no more than three of the commissioners can be of the same party. The three will join SEC chairman Christopher Cox and Commissioner Kathleen Casey.

"The Commission has been relatively stable over a number of years, so this is a very significant change to have three new commissioners," said John Giesea, president and CEO of the Security Traders Association. He added that SEC Chairman Christopher Cox "has laid out aggressive agenda and having a fully seated Commission will tend to put those agenda items in motion."

According to Giesea, the equities market structure "appears reasonable stable and efficient," and the STA has no pressing issues it expects to advance with the SEC. The options area, he noted, may "receive more market structure attention, since it has grown and flourished and taken on some of the characteristics of the equities market."

Paredes, a law professor at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, has focused on securities regulation and corporate governance. A graduate of Yale Law School, he is a coauthor, beginning with the fourth edition, of the 11-volume doorstopper Securities Regulation by the late Louis Loss and securities law expert Joel Seligman.

Atlanta-based Aguilar was a partner at law firm McKenna Long & Aldridge, where he concentrated on corporate and business law and international transactions. He previously served as general counsel at Invesco. A graduate of the University of Georgia School of Law, Aguilar is a licensed broker with Series 7, 24, 63 and 65 examinations under his belt.

Walter was senior executive vice president at NASD in charge of regulatory policy and programs. In the mid-1990s, she was general counsel at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Prior to her CFTC stint, she was deputy director of the SEC's Division of Corporate Finance. Walter graduated from Harvard Law School.

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