Mary L Schapiro, who has headed the
US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) during the last four
years of the financial crisis, said Monday she would resign in
She had been widely expected to depart before the beginning of President Barack Obama's second term.
"It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to work with so many dedicated SEC staff who strive every day to protect investors and ensure our markets operate with integrity," said Schapiro said in a statement.
She said in the last four years the regulatory body had brought a record number of enforcement actions including 735 in 2011 and 734 this year.
Obama expressed gratitude for her "steadfast leadership," particularly during the financial crisis and the backlash against Wall Street.
"When Mary agreed to serve nearly four years ago, she was fully aware of the difficulties facing the SEC and our economy as a whole," Obama said in a statement.
"But she accepted the challenge, and today, the SEC is stronger and our financial system is safer and better able to serve the American people - thanks in large part to Mary's hard work," he said.
A series of recent reforms has made the SEC more adept at pursing tips and complaints provided by outsiders, the SEC statement said. It has also improved its ability to identify wrongdoers through upgraded market intelligence capabilities.
Schapiro became SEC chairwoman in January 2009, making her tenure one of the longest as head of the regulatory body.
Obama appointed Elisse Walter, a current SEC commissioner, to succeed Schapiro. The appointment must be approved by the Senate.
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