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Who Is Jay Clayton?

Walter "Jay" Clayton is a name many investors aren't familiar with, but this will change very quickly. The Wall Street attorney has been tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to lead the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Financial Experience

As noted by Reuters, Clayton is a partner at the law firm Sullivan & Cromwell. He is an expert on mergers and acquisitions and capital-raising efforts, and he has advised many public and private companies.

Clayton also focused his practice on advising clients on how to navigate regulatory and enforcement actions.

Clayton has worked on many large deals involving the world's biggest banks during the 2008 financial crisis. Specifically, he worked on Barclays PLC (ADR) BCS's acquisition of Lehman Brothers' assets as well as JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM's acquisition of Bear Stearns.

Beyond The Financial Sector

Clayton's experience outside of the financial sector include Alibaba Group Holding Ltd BABA's initial public offering.

"Jay Clayton is a highly talented expert on many aspects of financial and regulatory law, and he will ensure our financial institutions can thrive and create jobs while playing by the rules at the same time," Trump said in a statement released on Wednesday. "We need to undo many regulations which have stifled investment in American businesses, and restore oversight of the financial industry in a way that does not harm American workers."

Reuters suggested Clayton's appointment is a signal that Trump's administration will scale back regulations that may be counterproductive and restricting corporate growth. For example, CNBC suggested that Trump's administration will scale back on several banking and finance regulations such as Dodd-Frank.

"In light of Jay's vast experience in capital formation, his appointment as SEC Chair is a strong positive signal the economy is a top priority of President-elect Trump and his team, and that the SEC will work together with Main Street to meet the country's economic goals of full employment and healthy growth," Jonathan Macey, a professor at the Yale Law School told Reuters.

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