6 Most Memorable SEC Chiefs

As critics debate whether President Obama's nominee for the SEC, Mary Jo White, is the right choice, we take a look at some of the past’s most memorable heads of the agency.
February 01, 2013

Mary Schapiro 2009-2012

Although she has only recently departed the SEC, Mary Schapiro, who was the first woman to serve as the agency’s permanent Chairman, is destined to be memorable for coming to the agency at a time when its reputation was at an all-time low following its failure to stop Bernard Madoff’s multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme. Schapiro revamped enforcement, slapping Goldman Sachs with a $550 million fine for putting together the ill-fated mortgage bond Abacus, as well as handing out fines to Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. The SEC also mandated that Countrywide's Angelo Mozilo should personally pay a $22.5 million fine, the largest by an individual in history.

Schapiro presided over one of the busiest rule-making agendas in the agency's history. But she will also be remembered for getting bogged down under the sprawling Dodd-Frank legislation, as well as for the fact that in the aftermath of the financial crisis, no one was ever charged at Lehman Brothers or AIG, or held accountable for the global markets meltdown.

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