The Senate on Thursday confirmed Hester Peirce and Robert Jackson as new commissioners for the Securities and Exchange Commission and Preston Rutledge as assistant secretary of labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration.
The approvals came in voice votes during an executive session before the chamber left for the year.
The EBSA position has been open since the departure of Phyllis Borzi in January at the end of the Obama administration. Before being nominated by President Donald Trump, Mr. Rutledge served as tax and benefits counsel for the Senate Finance Committee since 2011.
The Senate vote gives the SEC its first full five-member commission since 2015.
Confirmation of Ms. Peirce and Mr. Jackson was delayed earlier in December by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., over concerns about activist hedge funds, stock buybacks and executive compensation rules. Ms. Baldwin is sponsoring legislation that would require more disclosure from activist investors. She also wants the SEC to study buybacks and impose stricter rules on executive compensation.
During confirmation hearings, Ms. Peirce, a Republican appointee, and Mr. Jackson, a Democratic appointee, committed to revisit regulatory burdens and hold executives accountable.
Mr. Jackson is a Columbia Law School professor who directs the program on corporate law and policy, with a focus on executive compensation and corporate governance.
Ms. Peirce is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, where she is director of the financial markets working group. She previously worked at the SEC as a staff attorney and as counsel to former commissioner Paul Atkins.
"Hester Peirce has demonstrated in academia, government and the private sector her understanding of the issues regarding the U.S. financial regulatory system. Throughout her career, she has proposed sound ideas for reform for the benefit of investors and companies seeking capital to help grow our economy," Mr. Atkins, now CEO at Patomak Global Partners, said in a statement. "Her intellectual firepower, strong work ethic, commitment and integrity will be invaluable at the SEC. Ms. Peirce will be a strong voice supporting efforts to focus the agency on its core mission; her confirmation to the SEC could not be more important."