The SEC announced earlier today that SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro will leave the SEC on December 14, 2012.
As noted in the SEC's press release issued today:
Chairman Schapiro, who became chairman in the wake of the financial crisis in January 2009, strengthened, reformed, and revitalized the agency. She oversaw a more rigorous enforcement and examination program, and shaped new rules by which Wall Street must play.
Chairman Schapiro is one of the longest-serving SEC chairmen, having served longer than 24 of the previous 28. She was appointed by President Barack Obama on Jan. 20, 2009, and unanimously confirmed by the Senate.
In each of the past two years, the agency has brought more enforcement actions than ever before, including 735 enforcement actions in fiscal year 2011 and 734 actions in FY 2012.
In addition, the SEC engaged in one of the busiest rulemaking periods in decades. Due to new rules now in place, investors can get clear information about the advisers they invest with, vote on the executive compensation packages at companies they invest in, benefit from additional safeguards that protect their assets held by investment advisers, and get access to more meaningful information about company boards and municipal securities.
Schapiro, in turn, thanked the SEC staff:
It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to work with so many dedicated SEC staff who strive every day to protect investors and ensure our markets operate with integrity. Over the past four years we have brought a record number of enforcement actions, engaged in one of the busiest rulemaking periods, and gained greater authority from Congress to better fulfill our mission....
I’ve been so amazed by how hard the men and women of the agency work each and every day and by the sacrifices they make to get the job done. So often they stay late or come in on weekends to polish a legal brief, review a corporate filing, write new rules, or reconstruct trading events. And despite the complexity and the intense scrutiny, they always excel at what they do.
The SEC also posted alist of accomplishments under Chairman Schapiro's tenure.