Yesterday, SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar advised President Obama that he intends to step down as commissioner "at the end of December 2015, or at such earlier time as my successor assumes my position." On October 20, 2015, Lisa Fairfax and Hester Peirce were nominated by President Obama to succeed Aguilar and Commissioner Dan Gallagher, who departed the Commission on October 2, 2015. According to Investment Advisor Magazine, both Fairfax and Peirce are expected to be confirmed by the Senate by the end of 2015.
Aguilar was sworn in as commissioner on July 31, 2008 after being appointed by President George W. Bush. He was subsequently reappointed by President Barack Obama in 2011. Upon his departure, Aguilar will be the eighth longest-serving commissioner out of the 94 commissioners in the agency's history, and one of just three commissioners who have been nominated by two different presidents from two different political parties.
In March 2009, just eight months after he began serving as an SEC commissioner, I tagged Aguilar as the "Enforcement Commissioner." I observed at the time that
In his short time at the SEC, Aguilar has quickly positioned himself as the SEC Commissioner with the strongest interest in enforcement issues. In several speeches over the past eight months, Aguilar has taken strong positions advocating changes in the enforcement program and even being critical of certain SEC policies and practices.
In 2011, Aguilar testified in his renomination hearing that his previous experience in private practice had included almost everything that the Commission touched -- except enforcement. He said that he chose to focus heavily on the enforcement program when he first joined the Commission in 2008, however, because at that time (which included the financial crisis and, in December 2008, the revelation of the Madoff fraud), it clearly needed his attention.
In his letter to President Obama, Aguilar expressed particular pride in sponsoring the first Investor Advisory
Committee ('"IAC"), which was later mandated by Section 911 of Dodd-Frank. He also highlighted his work in
transforming the Commission into a 21st Century regulator by promulgating new rules to protect our markets from the threats posed by cybersecurity, and by utilizing automated systems to identify the concentration of risks in our capital markets and to perform many of the SEC' s critical market surveillance duties.