Trump Said to Tap Critic of Wall Street Rules to Aid Transition

Paul Atkins. Photographer: Jock Fistick/Bloomberg

Paul Atkins. Photographer: Jock Fistick/Bloomberg

  • Paul Atkins was an SEC commissioner during Bush administration
  • Atkins said to help select leadership for financial regulators

Donald Trump is turning to a former member of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission who’s known for opposing controversial market rules to help pick new leadership for financial regulators.

Paul Atkins, a Republican SEC commissioner during President George W. Bush’s administration, has been tapped to work on Trump’s transition team, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter who asked not be named because Atkins’s role isn’t public. Atkins is now chief executive officer of Washington consulting firm Patomak Global Partners.

Atkins didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment.

During Atkins’s SEC tenure, he was an outspoken critic of regulations that forced hedge funds to register with the agency and a requirement that mutual fund boards be led by independent chairmen. He also voiced frequent opposition to imposing large fines on corporations, arguing that such sanctions disproportionately hurt shareholders rather than wrongdoers.

Atkins’s involvement could provide a glimpse into how Trump plans to regulate financial markets. Since the real estate developer’s surprising victory early Wednesday morning, investors have been speculating that he will try to soften rules, including some implemented under the Dodd-Frank Act.

Atkins role was earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal.

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