| WASHINGTON, April 22
WASHINGTON, April 22 A White House attorney is a
leading candidate to become the top lawyer for the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission, according to people familiar
with the matter.
Anne Small, a special assistant and associate counsel to
President Barack Obama, is among SEC Chair Mary Jo White's top
picks for the position of general counsel, these people said.
They spoke anonymously because the hiring process is not public.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for
comment. SEC spokesman John Nester declined comment. It is not
clear when a final decision will be made.
Small is not a stranger to the SEC. In March 2011, she was
tapped as the agency's deputy general counsel for litigation and
adjudication, but left the position six months later for the
White House job.
The general counsel's office serves as the main lawyer for
the agency itself, handling everything from enforcement policy
decisions to defending the SEC when it is sued, to dealing with
Before working at the SEC, Small was a partner in the New
York office of WilmerHale, a law firm that employs a large
contingent of SEC alumni.
She also served as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Justice
Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court
An announcement about a new general counsel would be the
second major personnel decision from White, who took over as
head of the agency earlier this month.
On Monday, she appointed George Canellos and Andrew
Ceresney, two attorneys with whom she previously worked, to
serve as co-directors of the SEC's enforcement
Just before Obama nominated White to the SEC chairmanship,
then-SEC Chairman Elisse Walter named Geoffrey Aronow in early
January as the agency's new general counsel.
At the time of the announcement, some had assumed Walter
would be in the position for about a year.
White's appointment came just a few weeks later. Typically,
most heads of federal agencies prefer to install their own
Aronow came from Bingham McCutchen LLP, and had previously
also served as director of enforcement for the U.S. Commodity
Futures Trading Commission.
The people familiar with Small's candidacy did not know
whether Aronow would stay with the agency.
Aronow could not be reached for comment.