SEC Nominee’s Wife to Leave Goldman Upon His Confirmation

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By Andrew Ramonas

The wife of President Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission intends to leave her job at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. if her husband is confirmed by the Senate, a person familiar with her plans told Bloomberg BNA.

Gretchen Butler Clayton, who is married to SEC nominee Jay Clayton, is a wealth manager at Goldman, meaning Clayton could be precluded from participating in matters affecting the investment bank that come before the agency.

His wife’s departure would eliminate a major conflict of interest. But Clayton, who has represented Goldman as a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, still might have to recuse himself from making decisions on the bank for a year, according to federal ethics rules.

During the 2008 financial crisis, Clayton counseled Goldman in connection with the $10 billion it received in the federal government’s $700 billion bailout. He also helped with Berkshire Hathaway Inc.'s $5 billion investment in Goldman and advised the bank on “various acquisitions and investments in companies involved in financial services, banking, telecom and other industries,” according to his law firm’s website.

Trump’s SEC nominee “has a terrific reputation” at Goldman, the firm’s chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein told CNBC in January. He said he and Clayton hadn’t met.

The Senate has yet to consider Clayton’s nomination.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Ramonas in Washington at aramonas@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Phyllis Diamond at pdiamond@bna.com; Seth Stern at sstern@bna.com

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