SEC recruits New Jersey attorney general to lead enforcement

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday named New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal as the next leader of the agency's enforcement division, putting in place a well-known public sector figure to police Wall Street misdeeds.

Grewal, 48, will take the helm of SEC enforcement on July 26, after serving as New Jersey's top law enforcement official since 2018. Grewal is one of the state's longest-serving attorneys general and made history as the first Sikh American to hold the position.

“The enforcement division has a critical role to play in finding and punishing violations of the law ,” Grewal said in a statement. “I’m excited to get to work with the talented team of public servants to uncover and prosecute misconduct and protect investors."

SEC Chair Gary Gensler, President Joe Biden's pick to lead the agency, has faced pressure to recruit an enforcement leader who would be tough on Wall Street after progressives blasted his decision to hire corporate defense lawyer Alex Oh to the post in April. Oh resigned less than a week on the job after a federal judge reprimanded her and others defending Exxon Mobil in a lawsuit brought by Indonesian villagers.

Grewal, an appointee of Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, garnered a reputation in New Jersey for being tough on former President Donald Trump. He led the state in filing dozens of lawsuits against the former president’s administration, spanning a range of issues, from loosened environmental protections to the Affordable Care Act. He also led on issues of police reform and gun violence. He oversaw the state’s securities bureau, which during his tenure took action related to cryptocurrency offerings, subprime auto lending and predatory student loans.

“Through his efforts standing up to the Trump administration's attacks on New Jersey and our diverse communities, instituting historic reforms in policing, and leading the fight against gun violence, Attorney General Grewal has been an invaluable member of our administration and a dedicated public servant to the residents of New Jersey," Murphy said. "Though we'll miss his leadership, I know he's the right person to protect investors all across the nation, and I congratulate SEC Chair Gensler for this outstanding selection."

Before his position with the state, Grewal worked as an assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey’s criminal division, as well as the Eastern District of New York. Prior to his government service, he worked in private practice from 1999-2004 and 2008-2010 at the law firm Howrey LLP. His private sector work included representing public companies in proceedings with financial regulators and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigations.

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published this page in News and Politics 2021-06-29 13:13:59 -0700