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SEC nominee wants to focus on enforcement

Elad Roisman

The Securities and Exchange Commission may soon have a full commission once more, following a Senate Banking Committee hearing for Republican nominee Elad Roisman Tuesday.

If confirmed, Mr. Roisman would replace Michael S. Piwowar, a Republican who resigned from the five-member commission last month. The White House nominated Mr. Roisman, who currently serves as chief counsel to the Senate Banking Committee, in June.

A date for a full committee vote on Mr. Roisman's nomination has yet to be set but is expected in the coming weeks.

Mr. Roisman said in his testimony Tuesday that his past work experience would benefit him in his return to the SEC. Prior to his current role with the Senate Banking Committee, he served as its senior counsel and securities counsel. From 2012 to mid-2014, he worked as counsel to Republican SEC Commissioner Daniel M. Gallagher, and before starting his career in government, worked in the legal department of NYSE Euronext and practiced corporate and securities law at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.

Mr. Roisman said it's important for the SEC to review its rules and regulations to ensure the agency is effectively promoting investor confidence, adding that if he's confirmed he will focus on enforcement.

"There's a perception that the markets are rigged against the little guy and I think it's important for the SEC to try to dispel that notion," Mr. Roisman said. "And one of the ways they can do that is by having a strong enforcement program. A program that holds regulated entities and individuals accountable."

Ranking committee member Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, pushed back on Mr. Roisman's position that the markets aren't "rigged against the little guy. ... We need you to particularly be vigilant to make sure the system is not rigged against the middle class and against workers because this government clearly sings with an upper-class accent and this committee has collective amnesia about what happened 10 years ago," Mr. Brown said.

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, chairman of the committee, praised Mr. Roisman's "impressive command of securities law" and work ethic. "We will be sad to see you go, but the SEC will have gained a tremendous asset from which our whole country will benefit," Mr. Crapo said.