April 24, 2020 / 8:28 PM / a month ago

U.S. SEC names former Goldman Sachs executive as adviser to coronavirus taskforce

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday said it has welcomed a former Goldman Sachs executive to the agency as senior adviser to its recently formed coronavirus taskforce.

Sumit Rajpal, who previously co-led the U.S. lender’s global merchant banking division, said he hoped to contribute his “market knowledge and skills” to the financial watchdog, the SEC said in its announcement.

Rajpal retired from Goldman in February, just as the firm planned to raise $8 billion in only its second buyout fund since the 2008 financial crisis, undeterred by the then-spreading coronavirus epidemic in China that had cast a shadow over the global economy.

The SEC on Friday unveiled its temporary COVID-19 Market Monitoring Group of senior-level staffers, who are tasked to direct agency “actions and analysis related to the effects of COVID-19 on markets, issuers and investors.” The body is also charged to respond to requests for information, analysis and assistance from other regulatory bodies, including the Financial Stability Oversight Council.

The agency in April urged companies to discuss in disclosures and investor calls how their operations and financial conditions may change as efforts to fight the virus progress with testing and monitoring.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said on Friday that the COVID-19 monitoring group would help the agency “continue and expand upon” its ongoing assessment and response to the market effects of the novel, flu-like and sometimes fatal illness, caused by the coronavirus.

Reporting by Katanga Johnson; Editing by Leslie Adler

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