Senator Warren aide said to be in running for SEC job: sources

WASHINGTON/BOSTON (Reuters) - Bharat R. Ramamurti, a legislative aide for Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, is a contender for one of the vacancies on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to people familiar with the matter.

Ramamurti is senior counsel to Warren on banking and economic policy and she is staunchly backing him for the SEC job, one of the sources told Reuters.

The sources spoke anonymously because deliberations on candidates for the SEC, which is the primary regulator that polices and writes rules for Wall Street, are not public.

Ramamurti declined to comment.

A source said a decision on the post was not imminent. In prior instances with President Donald Trump’s administration, candidates in the running for positions were sometimes dropped after their names became public.

Other names that are in the mix include Vermont Law School professor Jennifer Taub, the AFL-CIO’s office of investment director Heather Slavkin Corzo and Andy Green, a managing director at the Center for American Progress who previously worked for SEC Democratic Commissioner Kara Stein, the sources told Reuters.

Taub and Green declined to comment and Slavkin Corzo could not be immediately reached.

A spokesperson for the White House declined to comment, saying he could not discuss personnel matters.

Trump must nominate three people to fill out the five-member panel, which currently is down to two commissioners - Acting Chairman Michael Piwowar, a Republican, and Stein.

The nomination of Wall Street deal-making attorney Jay Clayton, Trump’s choice to lead the SEC, was approved by the Senate Banking Committee earlier this month.

Clayton, an independent, is still awaiting confirmation by the full Senate, which is currently away for Easter recess.

Trump has not yet formally nominated anyone else for the remaining SEC spots - one Democrat and one Republican.

Warren, a progressive Democrat, has been critical of the Trump administration’s plans to roll back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law.

She voted against Clayton’s nomination, saying his employment as a lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell representing large banks creates too many conflicts of interest and may prevent him from being a tough regulator.

As her counsel on the banking committee, Ramamurti has played a prominent role in shaping Warren’s policy agenda. He helped steer her investigative efforts into the Wells Fargo fake accounts scandal and worked on bipartisan efforts to broker a deal on housing reforms for mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch in Washington and Svea Herbst-Bayliss in Boston; Editing by Chris Reese and Bill Trott