Personal Finance

SEC’s Gensler Picks Wall Street Critic Barbara Roper as Senior Advisor


WASHINGTON – Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Gary Gensler on Wednesday appointed a outspoken investor protection advocate to his inner circle of advisers, the latest sign that he is preparing to take a more antagonistic approach to Wall Street.

Mr. Gensler appointed Barbara Roper, longtime director of investor protection at the Consumer Federation of America, to serve as a senior advisor focused on policy issues, broker oversight, investment adviser oversight and exams.

Barbara Roper in 2011.


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Barbara roper

“Barb is an advocate for investors and will provide invaluable advice on behalf of the American public,” Gensler said in a statement. He said he has worked with Roper on Wall Street reform projects dating back to the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley revision of public company accounting rules, as well as the Dodd-Frank Act passed in 2010 after the financial crisis. world. “I am delighted to be working with her again at the SEC.”

A prolific writer of comment letters seeking to influence SEC policy – she has sent over 100 to the agency since 1990 – Ms. Roper has frequently sided with banks, brokers, hedge funds, and private equity firms. in regulatory matters. At times he harshly criticized Gensler’s predecessor, Jay Clayton, a Wall Street business lawyer whom he characterized as too close to the financial industry.

After the 2020 election, Ms. Roper asked President Biden to nominate a candidate for SEC president who would not shy away from adopting strict rules on industry opposition and votes against the Republican pair on the panel of five members of the SEC.

“In this most recent administration … they have been willing to make really anti-investor and deregulatory proposals on partisan votes,” Roper, 65, said in an interview in December. “We need a president who is equally aggressive, equally willing to take 3-2 votes if necessary, to advance important priorities in favor of investors.”

Among the issues it has asked the SEC to review under Democratic control is a review of the 2019 standards of conduct for brokers called the Best Interest Regulation.

He has also urged the SEC to reduce exemptions that progressives say have contributed to the rapid growth of private capital markets in recent years by allowing companies to postpone listing their shares publicly. And he has encouraged the agency to use corporate disclosure requirements as a lever to address issues like climate change and racial inequality, a strategy Mr. Gensler has instructed SEC staff to follow.

The SEC noted that Ms. Roper has served on numerous advisory committees to the commission and other financial regulators. He has a BA in art history from Princeton University.

Write to Paul Kiernan at [email protected]

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