Previous SEC Positions:
Jay Clayton was nominated to chair the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on January 20, 2017, by President Donald Trump and sworn in on May 4, 2017.
The Commission Under Chairman Clayton
There are several areas of focus for the SEC under Chairman Clayton.
- Furthering the interests of America’s Main Street investors—long a priority of the SEC staff—by: Read More [+]
- Establishing the Retail Strategy Task Force within the Enforcement Division, which develops proactive, targeted initiatives to identify misconduct impacting Main Street investors;
- Updating and enhancing the standards of conduct governing broker-dealers and investment advisers when providing advice to retail customers;
- Increasing public engagement around the country through roundtables and town halls with Main Street investors; and
- Educating investors on the importance of saving and investing wisely, and creating a new online search tool for retail investors to research their financial professionals.
- Updating and enhancing the regulation and oversight of our equity and fixed income markets, taking into account advances in technology and increased interconnectedness. Actions taken include: Read More [+]
- Forming the Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee, which provides advice to the Commission on the efficiency and resiliency of fixed income markets and helps identify opportunities for regulatory improvement;
- Enhancing transparency of alternative trading systems and in the municipal market; and
- Establishing the Enforcement Division Cyber Unit to focus on protecting investors from cyber-related misconduct.
- Making our capital markets, particularly our public capital markets, more accessible to businesses and investors, ensuring that the United States continues to be the world’s leader in terms of transparency, effective disclosure and investor protection. This includes: Read More [+]
- Reducing regulatory burdens on pre-IPO and smaller public companies while maintaining investor protections, including through modernizing and simplifying corporate disclosures, expanding the scope of smaller public companies that qualify for scaled disclosures, streamlining the process to launch certain types of ETFs, and expanding JOBS Act benefits to IPO companies; and
- Standing up the Office of the Advocate for Small Business Capital Formation to advance the interests of small businesses and their investors at the SEC and in the capital markets.
The Commission’s rulemaking since 2017 and current rulemaking agenda reflect these areas of focus.
These areas of focus also are reflected in the Commission’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, which also discusses the importance of developing and investing in the Commission’s human capital. A point of emphasis made by Chairman Clayton is that the SEC’s people—its human capital—are the agency’s most important resource. Over the past several years, they have moved the Commission forward in the face of ever-changing markets as well as well-known and emerging risks. A key priority for Chairman Clayton is to continue to invest in and develop the SEC’s human capital.
Under Chairman Clayton, the SEC also has addressed various market developments, including with respect to:
- securities law issues related to distributed ledger technology, cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings;
- assessing and planning for the potential adverse effects on U.S. capital markets from Brexit, including a possible “no-deal” Brexit;
- cybersecurity and the reliance of companies and our financial system on information technology, and the resulting vulnerabilities to cyberattacks and cyber outages and the need for operational resiliency; and
- modernizing the SEC’s public company disclosure requirements and guidance to reflect changes in our economy and markets, including in the area of human capital disclosure.
Background, Education and Experience
Chairman Clayton was born at Fort Eustis in Newport News, Virginia, and was raised primarily in central and southeastern Pennsylvania. In his professional career, he has lived in Philadelphia, New York, London, and Washington, DC.
Prior to joining the Commission, Chairman Clayton was a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, where he was a member of the firm’s Management Committee and co-head of the firm’s corporate practice. From 2009 to 2017, Chairman Clayton was a Lecturer in Law and Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Prior to joining Sullivan & Cromwell, Chairman Clayton served as a law clerk for the Honorable Marvin Katz of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A member of the New York and Washington, DC bars, Chairman Clayton earned a BS in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania (summa cum laude), a BA and MA in Economics from the University of Cambridge (Thouron Scholar), and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School (cum laude, Order of the Coif).
 See, e.g., Chairman Jay Clayton, Statement on Cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings (Dec. 11, 2017); Statement by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo: Regulators Are Looking at Cryptocurrency (Jan. 25, 2018); Testimony on Virtual Currencies: The Roles of the SEC and CFTC (Feb. 6, 2018); SEC Chairman Jay Clayton with Andrew Ross Sorkin (Nov. 29, 2018); SEC Staff Letter to ICI and SIFMA AMG: Engaging on Fund Innovation and Cryptocurrency-related Holdings (Jan. 18, 2018); SEC Staff Statement on Digital Asset Securities Issuance and Trading (Nov. 16, 2018).
 See, e.g., SEC Rulemaking Over the Past Year, the Road Ahead and Challenges Posed by Brexit, LIBOR Transition and Cybersecurity Risks (Dec. 6, 2018), supranote 1; Testimony on “Oversight of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission” (Dec. 11, 2018).
 See, e.g., See Press Release 2017-170, SEC Chairman Clayton Issues Statement on Cybersecurity: Discloses the Commission's Cyber Risk Profile, Discusses Intrusions at the Commission, and Reviews the Commission's Approach to Oversight and Enforcement (Sept. 20, 2017); Statement on Cybersecurity (Sept. 20, 2017); Testimony on “Examining the SEC's Agenda, Operation, and Budget” (Oct. 4, 2017); SEC Adopts Statement and Interpretive Guidance on Public Company Cybersecurity Disclosures (Feb. 21, 2018); SEC Rulemaking Over the Past Year, the Road Ahead and Challenges Posed by Brexit, LIBOR Transition and Cybersecurity Risks (Dec. 6, 2018).
 See, e.g., SEC Adopts Rules to Implement FAST Act Mandate to Modernize and Simplify Disclosure (Mar. 20, 2019); SEC Expands the Scope of Smaller Public Companies that Qualify for Scaled Disclosures (June 28, 2018); SEC Adopts Final Rules and Solicits Public Comment on Ways to Modernize Offerings Pursuant to Compensatory Arrangements (July 18, 2018); Remarks for Telephone Call with SEC Investor Advisory Committee Members (Feb. 6, 2019).