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June 21, 2013

Still Wanted: SEC Trading and Markets Chief

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Jo White is having difficulty finding an industry veteran or seasoned attorney to fill a top post overseeing trading firms and stock exchanges—a critical role for the agency given growing concerns about the speed and complexity of trading.

Ms. White has approached—and been turned down by—more than half a dozen senior industry officials and attorneys about possibly heading the agency’s trading and markets division, according to people familiar with the matter. The individuals she has approached include Nasdaq OMX Group Inc.’s Eric Noll and former Financial Industry Regulatory Authorityexecutive Stephen Luparello, who is now at a law firm.

The job is one of the last senior staff positions that remain unfilled on a permanent basis. Ms. White has been on the job just two months and her predecessors also took months to fill the top trading-and-markets job. The role calls for someone experienced in running, advising or policing the industry and who also is seen as independent and able to manage potential conflicts that can arise from having deep industry ties.

The SEC unit has broad responsibilities, including overseeing the operations of exchanges, which are at the center of a debate over whether the speed and complexity of trading in stocks and other securities pose risks to markets more broadly. The unit also is responsible for implementing central parts of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, such as the regulation of complex financial contracts known as swaps that were at the heart of the financial crisis.”

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Read full Wall Street Journal article here

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