Clayton’s Telecom Work Didn’t Involve Russia, Bribery Law

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By Rob Tricchinelli

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman nominee Jay Clayton’s work representing a Swedish telecom giant didn’t involve deep ties to Russia or Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, he said in response to a lawmaker inquiry.

As an attorney at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Clayton represented Telia Company AB in related initial public offerings, SEC registration and its investments and divestments in other companies and assets, he said in a March 22 response letter to Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.).

Cortez Masto wrote Clayton earlier in March asking for clarity on his involvement with Telia’s attempts to sell to a Russian oligarch part of a stake in Russian telecom company Megafon, as well as a potential pending settlement with U.S. authorities over FCPA violations.

One Telia transaction involving Megafon “did not move forward,” Clayton said, and his firm “did not represent Telia in connection with other Megafon-related matters referenced in your letter.”

The firm hasn’t represented Telia on FCPA matters, Clayton said.

Iran Dealings

Cortez Masto also asked Clayton to elaborate on the SEC’s 2005 request to Telia for clarification of any dealings it had with Iran as part of more stringent disclosures “in light of [Iran’s] status as state sponsors of terrorism.”

In response, he pointed to a 2006 filing from Telia noting that its involvement with Iran, through a small stake in a Turkish telecom company, was so tangential that “further disclosure” wouldn’t be required under U.S. regulations.

The Senate Banking Committee held Clayton’s confirmation hearing March 23, but Cortez Masto, a member of the committee, didn’t press Clayton on the Telia transactions. During the hearing, she focused on the nominee’s general approach to enforcement.

Cortez Masto told Bloomberg BNA she hasn’t decided how she will vote on his nomination.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Tricchinelli in Washington at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Phyllis Diamond at; Seth Stern at

For More Information

For Clayton's response letter, visit

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