US President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Walter J. Clayton, a renowned Wall Street lawyer and partner with the New York law firm Sullivan & Cromwell to head the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the New York Times wrote.
Clayton attended the University of Pennsylvania for his bachelor’s degree before proceeding to the University of Cambridge for another bachelor’s degree. He thereafter returned for a law degree at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
He is credited with a lot of experience in bank acquisitions and advising financial institutions deal with mortgage securities and other related settlements. He helped Barclays Capital to acquire Lehman Brothers when the company went bankrupt in 2008 and also helped JPMorgan Chase to buy Bear Stearns in 2007. Clayton advised Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba in 2013 to succeed with a $25 billion initial public offering among other company mergers.
Clayton also encouraged Goldman Sachs to accept a $5 billion investment from Berkshire Hathaway, owned by billionaire investor Warren Buffett, when the company faced financial problems. Meanwhile, Sullivan & Cromwell where Clayton is a partner had been Goldman Sach’s lawyers for over a century. Furthermore, Clayton’s wife works as a private-wealth adviser with Goldman Sachs.
The discreet Wall Street lawyer also stood in for Och-Ziff Capital Management over 10 years ago when the financial house went public with a $1.2 billion IPO. Clayton also helped Och-Ziff with more public offerings and financing that solidified the firm’s financial position in the market. The 50-year-old Clayton was once the chairman of the New York City bar association.
“Mr. Clayton’s background is very impressive — both for the depth of his experience, and for the quality of his efforts,” said Harvey Pitt, former SEC chairman under President George W. Bush. “It is especially logical with respect to the agency’s obligation to promote capital formation, a subject with which the incoming administration is appropriately concerned.”
And according to Brad Whitman, vice chairman in mergers and acquisitions at Morgan Stanley, “He’s got a great appreciation for what drives business and growth. When I think about the position, the guy has a really deep understanding of the capital markets and financial regulatory matters, so he checks those boxes.” Whitman worked with Clayton over many years.