Allison Herren Lee Faces Nominating Hearing for SEC

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is one step closer to filling a vacancy among its commissioners.

The Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held a nomination hearing on Thursday June 6, 2019, and among the nominees considered was Allison Herren Lee.

Herren Lee noted in her opening remarks.

Allison Herren lee
Allison Herren lee

“I have spent the bulk of my legal career at the SEC for one very straightforward reason: the SEC has a mission that is vital to the economic well-being of Americans and American businesses. It navigates the critical intersection between these two; between everyday Americans striving to build savings to buy a home, to send kids to college and eventually retire, and American businesses that need capital to grow and prosper. This reciprocal relationship must be nourished from both sides.

“We are a nation of investors, both retail and institutional, protected by the SEC. This protection is especially important as we continue the shift away from employer pensions toward individual plans in which people must fund and select their own retirement assets and manage their own risk.

“The SEC works to ensure that investors are taking the kinds of risk they sign up for — business and economic risk — not the risk of fraud, and not the risk of poorly structured or opaque markets that may disadvantage investors. This instills confidence which, in turn, fosters capital formation.”

Since 2005, Herren Lee has worn several hats at the SEC.

She has been an enforcement counsel, a counsel to then Commissioner Kara Stein, and is currently Senior Counsel, Enforcement Division, Complex Financial Instruments Unit, according to her LinkedIn page.

Prior to that, she worked as a securities lawyer at the law firm of Sherman & Howard from 1998-2005.

Before that, she clerked for Judge Rebecca Kourlis, who was on the Colorado Supreme Court.

Of her breadth of experience, she noted, “I have seen, experienced and understood this interdependence between investors and business from nearly every angle. I worked in the oil business, at both private and public companies. I’ve owned and run my own small business. Since law school, I’ve worked for over two decades as a securities lawyer, first in private practice as a litigator and partner, and then I was privileged to work on the staff of the SEC.”

President Trump nominated her to be a commissioner on the SEC in April 2019.

The SEC has five commissioners; Lee, if approved by the US Senate, would serve until June 2022.

Herren Lee was one of six people who were grilled for their nomination hearing on June 6.

The others were: Mr. Thomas Peter Feddo, of Virginia, to be an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Investment Security; Ms. Nazak Nikakhtar, of Maryland, to be Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security; Mr. Ian Paul Steff, of Indiana, to be Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Director General of the United States and Foreign Commercial Service; The Honorable Michelle Bowman, of Kansas, to be a Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; and Mr. Paul Shmotolokha, of Washington, to be First Vice President of the Export-Import Bank of the United States.

Herren Lee’s nomination must still be voted on by the Senate Banking Committee before the full Senate votes but both are expected to pass.