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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 10 December, 2002, 18:05 GMT
Bush names new finance watchdog
Nominee for SEC chairman William Donaldson (left) and US President George W Bush
William Donaldson, to some, is an "interesting" choice
US President George W Bush has named a long-time Wall Street executive to head the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

He's somebody who knows the business [and] he could make a very good regulator

James Angel,
Georgetown University
In a White House ceremony announcing the appointment, the president named William Donaldson, co-founder of investment-banking firm Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette, to the post of SEC chairman.

"Bill Donaldson will be a strong leader, with a clear mission to vigorously enforce our nation's laws against corporate corruption and to uphold the highest standards of integrity in the securities markets," Mr Bush said on Tuesday.

Mr Donaldson will succeed Harvey Pitt, who resigned on 5 November, following a volatile 15-month reign as head of the SEC, a securities-industry watchdog.

'Interesting' choice

The choice of Mr Donaldson to head the besieged agency was generally hailed by securities-industry experts.

"He's somebody who knows the business, and that means that he could make a very good regulator," said James Angel, professor of finance at Georgetown University.

In addition to his investment banking experience, Mr Donaldson also served as chairman of the New York Stock Exchange from 1990 to 1995 and as chairman of insurance giant Aetna.

"It's an interesting pick," said Pat McGurn, special counsel at Institutional Shareholder Services.

SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt
Harvey Pitt has stayed-on awaiting a new nominee

"But frankly he's not on the record on a lot of the governance and other issues on the plate," Mr McGurn says.

"So it's a question mark from a shareholder's perspective how he feels about some of these regulations that are being put in place to implement Sarbanes-Oxley."

Revamped team

Mr Donaldson's nomination to a Bush administration post is the second in as many days.

The president stepped forward on Monday to announce his new choice to head the Treasury Department, John Snow.

In addition, Stephen Friedman, was believed to be Mr Bush's top choice to head the White House team of economic advisers, a post vacated by Larry Lindsey.

Mr Lindsey along with Treasury chief Paul O'Neill resigned on Friday under pressure from White House officials, including the president.

Mr Bush is seeking to revamp his economics team in order to reinvigorate an ailing economic recovery and secure his re-election in 2004.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Richard Dunham
"He is an old Bush family friend"
William Donaldson, new SEC chairman
"I am firmly committed to doing everything I can to restore the confidence of investors."

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See also:

10 Dec 02 | Business
20 Nov 02 | Business
06 Nov 02 | Business
09 Dec 02 | Business
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