President Barack Obama may nominate Daniel M. Gallagher, a former Securities and Exchange Commission official, as one of the watchdog’s five commissioners, said two people familiar with the appointment.
Gallagher, a former SEC deputy director who left the agency last year, would replace Kathleen L. Casey after her five-year term expires in June, said the people, who declined to be identified because the White House hasn’t announced the selection.
Gallagher, 38, oversaw the agency’s response to the 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEHMQ) and worked on the Credit Rating Agency Reform Act. SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro named Gallagher and James Brigagliano co-acting directors of the agency’s trading and markets division after Erik Sirri stepped down in April 2009.
When Gallagher left the SEC in January 2010 to become a law partner in the Washington office of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP, Schapiro said he had “served this agency well during a very difficult time in the markets.”
Before joining the SEC, Gallagher was general counsel and senior vice president of Fiserv Securities Inc., a unit of Brookfield, Wisconsin-based Fiserv Inc. (FISV)
Obama “will nominate someone to fill that role as quickly as possible, but we won’t speculate or comment on possible candidates before the president makes his decision,” said Amy Brundage, a White House spokeswoman.
John Nester, an SEC spokesman, declined to comment. A call to Gallagher yesterday wasn’t immediately returned.
Casey, the Republican former staff director at the Senate Banking Committee, spent 13 years on Capitol Hill before joining the SEC. She would be leaving the agency as it works through the rulemaking schedule required by the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010.
The SEC has so far adopted just seven of more than 100 rules called for in the act.
No more than three members of a political party can serve on the five-member commission, and each must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate. The panel also includes two Democrats -- Luis Aguilar and Elisse Walter -- and Republican Troy Paredes. Schapiro is a political independent.
Aguilar, whose term expired in June, has continued serving in the position, as permitted by the agency’s rules.
Senator Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, endorsed Aguilar’s re-nomination in September, writing in a letter to Obama that “he has proven to be one of the strongest and most knowledgeable advocates that we have ever seen at the SEC.”
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