As he prepares to leave office at the end of the year, Jay Clayton, president of the Securities and Exchange Commission, said that one of his greatest achievements has been to level the playing field for small investors.
One example, he said, is the Commission’s effort to ensure that retail crowds have equal access to private markets, which are often under the purview of more deep-pocketed investors.
“One of the things we’ve tried to do is that our Main Street investors can sit shoulder to shoulder with professional investors in those opportunities,” said CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin during a “squawk box” interview. “It is a driving force.”
Following the tradition, in which the SEC’s chairs traditionally go down when the president changes hands, Clayton said he will leave in late 2020, though his full term lasts until June 2021.
During its run, the commission was considered somewhat more hands-off than some of its predecessors, even though the SEC set a new mark this year with $ 14 billion in financial measures.
Clayton said, “Maybe it’s my personality. Whatever it is, I believe in investors. I also believe in investing. You have good companies to invest in. We have tremendous companies in this country.”
“They said, if someone does something wrong, we’re going to weird them out,” he said.
Clayton closed his term with support for lending to amend the 10b5-1 trading scheme, when company executives could sell their shares. He said during a Senate hearing that when executive securities can be sold, there should be a time period of up to six months for a executive to establish a business plan.
In doing so, he told CNBC, “It gives more confidence to people that you haven’t tried at market time.” He called it part of “good corporate hygiene”, which eliminates the appearance of clutter.
The issue has been in discussion again recently as drug company officials sold shares through those plans in the wake of positive news on tests related to coronovirus.