Jay Clayton reaches final stage of SEC confirmation

A full Senate vote will determine whether the private equity lawyer will become the agency’s next chair.

The Senate Banking Committee has cleared the nomination of private equity lawyer Jay Clayton to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The vote on Tuesday passed 15-8 with three Democrats joining the panel’s Republicans in approving Clayton. The confirmation will now go to the full Senate for a final vote, where approval is expected. A date for the vote has not been set.

Clayton, nominated for the job by President Donald Trump, is a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell. His clients have included Oaktree Capital, Och-Ziff and Goldman Sachs.

SEC ethics rules will require him to recuse himself for two years from enforcement actions involving his former clients or anyone represented by his law firm.

Critics fear this could leave the remaining four commissioners deadlocked, hampering actions.

Clayton faced tough questioning during his confirmation hearing over his ties with Wall Street, but he told the panel he would “show no favouritism to anybody” if he was selected to chair the SEC.