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Jay Clayton

Sr Policy Advisor & Of Counsel

Jay Clayton

Sr Policy Advisor & Of Counsel
New York +1-212-558-4000+1-212-558-4000 +1-212-558-3588+1-212-558-3588
[email protected]
Jay Clayton, who served as the Chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission from May 2017 to December 2020, is a Senior Policy Advisor and Of Counsel to Sullivan & Cromwell. Mr. Clayton's practice centers on advising institutions, board of directors and individuals on governance, markets, regulatory and legislative matters, particularly where multidisciplinary advice and practical experience are valued. 
Government Service

As Chairman of the SEC, Mr. Clayton focused on modernizing the regulation and oversight of our equity and fixed income markets, concentrating on the interests of long-term investors.  These efforts included expanding investment opportunities for retail investors, increasing the standards of care for brokers, and requiring more accessible fee disclosures.  During Mr. Clayton’s tenure, the Division of Enforcement obtained the highest (FY2020) and second highest (FY2019) financial remedies and, importantly, returned $3.5 billion to harmed investors.   Mr. Clayton and his senior leadership team made diversity, inclusion and opportunity a daily priority throughout the organization.  These efforts included the Commission’s first Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan and focus by the Commission’s Advisory Committees on diversity, inclusion and opportunity in the financial industry. 

Under Chair Clayton’s leadership, the women and men of the SEC addressed various market developments and emerging risks, including the 2020 COVID-19 economic shock, the digitization of securities and other assets, the Brexit and LIBOR transitions, and cybersecurity matters. 

Mr. Clayton testified on multiple occasions before various Senate and House Committees, adopting the practice of providing expansive written and oral testimony regarding the Commission’s activities and rulemaking agenda. He also was an active member of the Financial Stability Board (FSB), the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Oversight Board, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), and the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets (PWG).   

Professional Experience 

Prior to Mr. Clayton’s government service, he spent over 20 years at Sullivan & Cromwell where he was a member of the management committee, co-managing partner of the General Practice Group and co-head of the Cybersecurity Group. He was a lead lawyer in an array of complex M&A and capital markets transactions, as well as regulatory and governance matters, in the financial, telecoms, energy, transportation and ecommerce sectors. 

Mr. Clayton also advised a number of individuals in connection with their public and private investments as well as succession and transition matters.

Select Professional and Non-Profit Affiliations 
  • Apollo Global Management, Non-Executive Chairman
  • Adjunct Professor, Joint Appointment in the Wharton School of Business and the Carey Law School, University of Pennsylvania
  • Board of Trustees, Lehigh University
  • Advisory Board Member, National Association of Securities Professionals