July 5, 2005

SEC’s Acting Chair – Cynthia Glassman

Last Thursday, President Bush designated Commissioner Glassman to be Acting Chair while the appointment of Christopher Cox as permanent Chair is pending Senate confirmation. I presume the President made the selection based on seniority – as Commissioner Atkins was rumored to be among the candidates for the Chair position, but Glassman never was. Glassman joined the Commission six months before Atkins. Here is a recent speech from Commissioner Glassman regarding what she thinks is ahead for the SEC during this time of transition.

I doubt Commissioner Glassman will move her office down the hall into the Chair’s nicer office – unlike my former boss Laura Unger who moved into the head honcho suite when she served as Acting Chair. Unlike the present circumstances, Unger was hoping to be tapped as a permanent Chair when she moved down the hall – and she served as Acting Chair for seven months before Harvey Pitt was finally appointed.

I don’t think it will be too long before Cox is confirmed, unless the battle over the open US Supreme Court slot pushes aside all other confirmations in the Senate. [Note that serving as an Acting Chair doesn’t even get you recognized as serving as a Chair in the SEC’s Commissioner/Chair Chart.]

As could be expected, a bunch of former Chairman Donaldson’s Staff left the Commission last week along with Donaldson, including the head of Public Affairs – see the bevy of June 30 press releases regarding departures.

NYSE to Issue Comments on Director Independence

Geez, I go away for a week and Julie’s blog on the NYSE’s independence standards gets picked up in Friday’s WSJ for this article. Let me know if you get one of these “futures” comment letters. Teaches me to take a vacation – glad to be back!

Former Enforcement Director Cutler Rejoins Wilmer Cutler

Last week, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr announced that former SEC Enforcement Director Stephen Cutler will rejoin the firm as co-chair of its Securities Department in the firm’s DC office sometime in “the fall of 2005. ” Prior to joining the SEC, Cutler had been a partner at Wilmer. With former Enforcement Director Bill McLucas also in the stable, Wilmer now has created quite an Enforcement practice juggernaut.