• Mon, Nov 26 2012

Former Wall Street Queen Sallie Krawcheck May Be The Next Head Of The SEC

Mary Schapiro, the chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, will be stepping down from her position on Dec.14 and now DealBreaker is reporting that Sallie Krawcheck, formerly the most powerful woman on Wall Street, could possibly be considered for the role.

No successor contenders have been officially named at this point but according to Susanne Craig and Ben Protess of Dealbreaker, Mary J. Miller, a senior Treasury Department official, is under consideration for the job, a person briefed on the matter said. Krawcheck, a former top executive at Citigroup and Bank of America, is also in the running, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Robert Khuzami, the SEC’s enforcement chief, and Elisse B. Walter, a commissioner at the SEC, may act as chairman in the interim.

It is great to see two women possibly being considered for this very important and high-profile position. Schapiro was appointed by President Barack Obama to run the SEC in January of 2009 when Wall Street was in a state of major disarray. In the past two years, the agency has filed actions against 129 people and firms tied to the crisis.

This could be a perfect role for Krawcheck. She is a Wall Street expert though she has had a tough relationship with the industry. She compared running Merrill Lynch to the Disney ride the Tower of Terror.  She was forced out of Bank of America Merrill Lynch in September 2011. Three years before that she was let go from her executive position at Citigroup. Given the chance to regulate the industry that in some ways rejected her could be very interesting.

Perhaps she could help improve the lack of women on Wall Street problem. This is something she feels very passionately about. She told Marie Claire  that fewer women make it the top in finance because instead of actually promoting them we are making them go through mentoring programs, and join networking groups and giving them special training. Doing all this still does not get them promoted, it just gives them more to do, said Sallie.

Krawcheck pointed out that there are less women at the top in finance because there are less women in general in the workforce and especially in the financial industry. But she does think one reason women account for only  2.7% of the chief executives in the financial industry, and 16.8% of the executive officers in the U.S. is because “we’re putting women on diversity councils; we’re putting them in mentoring programs; we’re giving them special leadership training, telling them how to ask for promotions — but we are not promoting them. My goodness, we’re just making women busier. There needs to be a rethink about how to make them successful in these organizations.”

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