Walter "Jay" Clayton is the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Before joining the SEC, Clayton was a partner in the New York office of the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell, where he specialized in advising clients on public and private mergers and acquisitions and capital-raising. He also helped companies navigate regulatory and enforcement actions, including a number of cases that involved mortgage securities.
Clayton has worked for high-profile clients, including the initial public offerings of Alibaba Group Holding Company and Oaktree Capital Group. During the 2008 financial crisis, Clayton worked on major deals involving big banks, including Barclays Capital’s acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ assets, the sale of Bear Stearns to JP Morgan Chase, and the U.S. Treasury Department’s capital investment in Goldman Sachs.
He has helped draft comment letters to the SEC advocating for less onerous restrictions for foreign public companies, and was one of the authors of a 2011 article which advocated for less zealous enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
Clayton has a B.S. in engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, a B.A. and M.A. in economics from the University of Cambridge and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
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