Jay Clayton's nomination as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission was approved Tuesday by the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
The full Senate is expected to vote on the nomination later this month.
Committee members approved Mr. Clayton's nomination in a 15-to-8 vote. Some Democrats questioned whether his extensive experience as a Wall Street lawyer will force him to recuse himself from many SEC issues. And Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said Mr. Clayton also "failed to provide basic assurances" that he will implement congressionally required regulatory improvements.
Mr. Clayton's confirmation hearing on March 23 revealed little about how his leadership of the agency would affect investment advisers. No lawmaker asked Mr. Clayton about his stance on proposing a fiduciary standard for retail investment advice, for example, which the agency has been mulling since the Dodd-Frank financial reform law authorized it to promulgate such a regulation nearly seven years ago.
Mr. Clayton sidestepped another adviser issue at the confirmation hearing when asked whether the SEC would address mandatory arbitration if he became chairman.
"It's an issue I don't know a great deal about," Mr. Clayton said.
Hazel Bradford is a reporter with InvestmentNews' sister publication Pensions & Investments.