SEC Chair Jay Clayton Will Step Down at the End of 2020

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton will step down from his position at the end of the year, the Wall Street regulator said in a statement on Monday.

The chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission is set to leave at the end of this year ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's transition to the White House.

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, who has led the commission since May 2017, said he will end his tenure at the end of this year.

Clayton is a former corporate lawyer who was nominated to lead the SEC by President Trump. Clayton's term was officially set to end in June.

"I am proud of our collective efforts to advance each part of the SEC’s tripartite mission, always with an eye on the interests of our Main Street investors," said Clayton in a statement. 

He added that "the U.S. capital markets ecosystem is the strongest and most nimble in the world, and thanks to the hard work of the diverse and inclusive SEC team, we have improved investor protections, promoted capital formation for small and larger businesses, and enabled our markets to function more transparently and efficiently.”

The SEC collected $14 billion in financial remedies during Clayton's tenure and paid approximately $565 million to whistleblowers during the period.

Clayton also presided over a public battle between the SEC and Elon Musk related to the billionaire CEO’s tweets about his intentions to take Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report private. Musk ended up paying a $20 million fine and agreeing to step down as chairman of the company for at least three years. 

Reuters reported that senior Democratic SEC Commissioner Allison Lee could serve as acting chair after Clayton's departure.

Preet Bharara, a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Wall Street veteran Gary Gensler are likely to be in the running for the top job on a permanent basis, Bloomberg reported last week.