| WASHINGTON, March 8
WASHINGTON, March 8 Wall Street attorney Jay
Clayton, President Donald Trump's pick to head the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission, has vowed to recuse himself
from agency matters involving his law firm and former clients,
according to an ethics agreement made public on Wednesday.
Under the agreement, the Sullivan & Cromwell attorney will
not participate in SEC matters involving the firm for one year.
He will also recuse himself from matters involving his former
clients for one year after he last provided them legal services.
Clayton also promised to divest, within 90 days of
confirmation, from 176 assets collectively worth millions of
Clayton indicated he will seek to take advantage of a tax
benefit that allows government officials to defer paying capital
gains taxes on assets they sell to satisfy ethics requirements,
according to a March 3 letter Clayton wrote to ethics officials.
As a Wall Street attorney, Clayton has worked on notable
deals including the initial public offering of Alibaba Group
The SEC is an independent federal agency tasked with
enforcing securities laws and regulating the country's stock and
options exchanges. Agency nominees are reviewed by the U.S.
Senate Banking Committee, which is set to hold Clayton's initial
confirmation hearing on March 23.
Clayton is widely expected by SEC watchers to win
confirmation by the full Senate by a comfortable margin. But he
is likely to face grilling by some of the more liberal-leaning
Democrats on the banking panel.
Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio is the senior Democrat on the
committee. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts also serves
on the panel. Both are skeptical that people with close ties to
Wall Street should run the SEC.
Clayton's wife, Gretchen Butler Clayton, works at Goldman
Sachs & Co and holds stock, restricted stock and
restricted stock units in the bank. Those assets will also be
divested if Clayton is confirmed to head the SEC.
(Reporting By Amanda Becker; Editing by Tom Brown)