SEC Names New General Counsel, Head Of Corporate Finance

Securities and Exchange Commission

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has appointed Renee Jones to head the Division of Corporation Finance and John Coates as SEC general counsel effective June 21, the SEC said in an announcement Monday (June 14).

Jones was the associate dean for Academic Affairs at Boston College Law School and also taught law there. She was previously a lawyer with Hill & Barlow, according to the announcement.

“Robust public disclosure has been a hallmark of effective securities regulation since the 1930s,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler in the announcement. “Renee brings deep expertise in corporate governance and securities law to the Division of Corporation Finance. Her leadership will be invaluable as the division facilitates disclosure under our current rules and undertakes rule modernization to meet the challenges of today.”

Jones said in the announcement she is serving in an “essential role” that works to ensure every investor has the right details to make “informed investment decisions.”

Coates has served as the SEC’s acting director of the Division of Corporation Finance since February, according to the announcement. Before that, he was a law professor at Harvard University, where he also was vice dean for Finance and Strategic Initiatives. Previously, Coates was a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

“In only two months, I’ve come to rely upon John’s deep expertise and judgment, traits that are essential in the role of general counsel,” Gensler said in the announcement.

Coates said in the announcement he wants to continue his work helping the SEC uphold its “mission to protect investors,” while also ensuring there are “fair, orderly and efficient markets” and facilitating “capital formation.”

In separate SEC news, Gensler said in a speech at the Piper Sandler Global Exchange & FinTech Conference earlier this month that he is looking into audits of laws regulating the U.S. stock market. The federal agency is in the midst of looking into changes in legislation that regulate how stocks are traded and how pricing is conducted.