Mary Schapiro

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Mary Schapiro
29th Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission
In office
January 27, 2009 – December 14, 2012
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Christopher Cox
Succeeded by Elisse Walter
In office
May 7, 1993 – July 27, 1993
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Richard Breeden
Succeeded by Arthur Levitt
Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission[1]
In office
December 1988 – October 1994
Chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
In office
October 13, 1994 – January 26, 1996
President Bill Clinton
Preceded by Barbara Holum (Acting)
Succeeded by John Tull (Acting)
Personal details
Born (1955-06-19) June 19, 1955 (age 65)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political party Independent[2]
Alma mater Franklin and Marshall College
George Washington University

Mary L. Schapiro (born June 19, 1955) served as the 29th Chairperson of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). She was appointed by President Barack Obama, unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and assumed the Chairwomanship on January 27, 2009. She is the first woman to be the permanent Chair of the SEC.[3] In 2009, Forbes ranked her the 56th most powerful woman in the world.[4]

Schapiro served in various roles as a financial services regulator in the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. From 2006 to early 2009, she was the Chairman and CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the securities industry's self-regulatory organization for broker-dealers and exchanges in the United States.[1]

Early life and education

Schapiro was born in New York City.[5] She graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 1977. In 1980 she earned a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree with honors from George Washington University Law School.[1]

Career prior to the SEC

Schapiro was appointed in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan to fill one of two Democratic seats on the SEC. President George H. W. Bush reappointed her to this position in 1989. President Bill Clinton appointed Schapiro acting Chairwoman of the SEC, and then appointed her Chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 1994.

In 1996 Schapiro joined the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) (now the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) as the president of NASD Regulation. In 2002 she became the Vice Chairwoman of the NASD.

In 2005 Schapiro oversaw a wide-reaching probe into gift-giving and entertaining on Wall Street, uncovering several instances of lavish and excessive activities, which led to many charges.[6]

In 2006 she became NASD's Chairwoman and CEO. In that position, she oversaw NASD's consolidation with NYSE Member Regulation to form the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.[7]

In January 2008, President George W. Bush appointed Schapiro to the 19-member council of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. In 2008, Schapiro was named to Investment Advisor magazine's IA 25, the list of the 25 most influential people in and around the investment advisory business.[8]

In 2008, her last year at FINRA, Schapiro earned a regular compensation package of $3.3 million; on departure from FINRA, she received additional lump sum retirement benefit payments to a total of just under $9 million.[9]She received $8.99 million as a "final distribution," including $7.6 million in vested retirement benefits, according to a Finra report. She makes $163,500 at the SEC.[10]

SEC Chairwoman

In January 2009 the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Schapiro's appointment by President Barack Obama to be the SEC's first female permanent Chairperson.[1]

Schapiro partially blamed the financial crises of 2008 on deregulation, telling senators that the regulatory system had "not kept pace with the markets and the needs of investors". As the SEC's head, she said, she would press for tighter regulation of financial instruments, including derivatives.[11]

During Schapiro's tenure at the SEC, the agency improved its enforcement program, creating new structures, procedures, and programs to better address the modern financial markets, including: bringing 735 enforcement actions in FY 2011 and a near record of 734 actions in FY 2012; obtaining more than $11 billion in ordered disgorgements and penalties since FY 2009; prosecuting the largest insider trading scheme ever discovered, winning a record $92.8 million fine in the civil case against the CEO of the Galleon Hedge Fund; and bringing financial-crisis related actions against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, among others.[12][13] Also during Schapiro’s tenure, the SEC brought a record number of enforcement actions and returned more than $6 billion to harmed investors.[2] Schapiro also led the agency through one of its most active rulemaking periods, and enacted many other investor protection measures, including adopting more than three quarters of the rules required by the Dodd-Frank Act.[14]

An early setback for Schapiro as SEC chairwoman occurred in September 2009 when U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff rejected the SEC's proposed $33 million settlement with Bank of America. BoA had been charged with failure to disclose bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch executive before the two companies merged. Under the settlement's terms BoA was allowed to deny any wrongdoing, which they did when pressed by Rakoff on the matter of guilt.[15] Rakoff said the settlement did not "comport with the most elementary notions of justice and morality".[16] Seven months later, Rakoff approved a $150 million settlement of the BoA case; BoA did not have to change its declaration of innocence.[17]

Upon Schapiro's departure from the SEC in December 2012, President Obama commended Schapiro’s contributions as Chairwoman in an official White House statement.[18]

Subsequent career

In April 2013, Schapiro joined Promontory Financial Group where she is Advisory Board Vice Chair.[19][20] In 2014 she joined the board of directors of General Electric,[21] and in 2015, she joined the board of directors of the London Stock Exchange Group.[22]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "SEC Biography:Chairman Mary L. Schapiro". Retrieved 23 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Aruna Viswanatha (November 26, 2012). "Schapiro stepping down at SEC, Walter to step in". Reuters.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Obama taps veteran regulator to head under-fire SEC", Agence France Presse, December 18, 2008, accessed February 6, 2009.
  4. "The 100 Most Powerful Women". Forbes. August 19, 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Meet Washington's Newest Watchdog". Bloomberg Businessweek. October 23, 1994.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Lavan, Rosie (December 18, 2008). "SECs New Chairman: Who is Mary Schapiro". The Times. London.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Biography of Schapiro, FINRA
  8. James J. Green (May 1, 2008). "Watch List: Mark Tibergien, the consultant and now executive who taught advisors to think of their practices as businesses, leads the IA 25 for 2008". Investment Advisor. Retrieved 2012-03-07.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Courtney Comstock (October 11, 2010). "WHOA: FINRA Paid Mary Schapiro $9 Million In 2008". Business Insider.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Alexis Leondis and Zeke Faux (Jun 27, 2011). "Investors May Lose as Congress Saves Money on Adviser Oversight". Retrieved 14 March 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Labaton, Stephen (January 16, 2009). "S.E.C. Nominee Offers Plan for Tighter Regulation". The New York Times.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Jennifer Liberto (November 26, 2012). "SEC chief Mary Schapiro to step down".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "The SEC — Revitalized, Reformed and Protecting Investors". Retrieved 25 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Catherine Hollander (November 27, 2012). "Schapiro Departure Could Slow Dodd-Frank Implementation". National Journal.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Marcy Gordon. "BofA settlement ruling a setback for SEC". Associated Press. Retrieved 2012-03-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Scannell, Kara; Rappaport, Liz; Bravin, Jess (September 15, 2009). "Judge Tosses Out Bonus Deal". The Wall Street Journal.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. Louise Story (February 23, 2010). "Judge Accepts S.E.C.'s Deal With Bank of America". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-03-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Statement by President Obama on the Departure of SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro". November 26, 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Julie May (August 11, 2014). "Promontory to oversee CBA's advice review program". Financial Observer.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "WWS Calendar Mary Schapiro". Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. February 26, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Richard Breeden
Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission

Succeeded by
Arthur Levitt
Preceded by
Barbara Holum
Chairperson of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Succeeded by
John Tull
Preceded by
Christopher Cox
Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission
Succeeded by
Elisse Walter