SEC Commissioner Aguilar Offers ”Helpful Tips” to Future SEC Commissioners

In a public statement, SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar provided “a set of principles, thoughts, and ideas” that he hoped “future Commissioners, and their counsels, may find useful.” His statement follows the November 16 announcement of his departure from the SEC at the end of December.

Commissioner Aguilar’s “high-level roadmap” included the following recommendations:

  • Personal Staff. Commissioner Aguilar stressed that choosing the right counsels “may be one of the most important decisions [that one can] make as a Commissioner.” He urged future Commissioners to consider their counsels to be their alter egos.
  • Internal Procedures. Commissioner Aguilar emphasized that future Commissioners must familiarize themselves with the Reorganization Plan No. 10 of 1950, which provides that the SEC Chair “alone determines the Commission’s agenda, as well as the content of the recommendations [they] will be asked to vote on.” He also urged future Commissioners to “understand the substantive rules and procedural processes at the SEC, e.g., how rulemakings work, how enforcement recommendations work, how seriatim votes work, etc.”
  • The Role of a Commissioner. Commissioner Aguilar noted that being a Commissioner requires a “fresh perspective.” He urged future Commissioners to stay well informed, be “proactive” in reaching out to other federal or state regulatory agencies, remain “open” to various viewpoints, dig into “so-called precedents” and “practice healthy skepticism.”

In closing, Commissioner Aguilar called on future Commissioners to do their “homework.” “The American people cannot afford to have you ‘wing it,'” he said.