“Mary Schapiro’s decision to join Promontory Financial Group LLC after running the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission amplifies the firm’s competitive advantage as an employer of former regulators.
“Schapiro, 57, joined Promontory yesterday as a managing director advising clients on risk management and corporate governance, Washington-based Promontory said in a statement. Promontory has carved out a niche in the U.S. capital, hiring heavy-hitting former regulators to advise banks and other clients prepare for scrutiny by the agencies they left.
“Critics of the so-called revolving door between government and business say moving between the two can compromise the objectivity of regulators and give companies leverage to unduly influence rules.
“In an interview, Schapiro said that criticism doesn’t fit her situation because she won’t go back to government. She said she has pledged not to lobby or otherwise try to influence a federal agency while at Promontory.
“‘I spent four years working shoulder-to-shoulder with the SEC staff coming out of one of the most difficult periods in the agency’s history, and I would be profoundly uncomfortable going back to those people and asking them for anything or trying to influence them,’ Schapiro said.
“Dennis Kelleher, president of the nonprofit advocacy group Better Markets, said Schapiro’s vow to avoid lobbying is meaningless because behind-the-scenes work can be more valuable to clients.
“‘Providing information, perspective, context, names, views previously expressed, background, judgments, contacts and direct phone numbers, among many other things, to clients, directly or indirectly through colleagues and third parties, is actually much more valuable,’ Kelleher said in a statement.”
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