“Renee brings deep expertise in corporate governance and securities law to the Division of Corporation Finance. Her leadership will be invaluable as the Division facilitates disclosure under our current rules and undertakes rule modernization to meet the challenges of today." - Gary Gensler, SEC Chairman
On Monday, the Securities and Exchange Commission appointed Renee Jones as Director of the Corporation Finance Division, making her the top staff regulator for public companies. This unit of over 400 attorneys and accountants, draft the rulebook for companies that are raising capital, and disclosing material news and events to shareholders. The SEC's selection comes just after announcing their plans to write rules this year that focus on special- purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), corporate board diversity, trading by corporate officers and directors, and how firms oversee cybersecurity risks. Ms. Jones has written extensively about private companies and the role of the SEC. In "The Unicorn Governance Trap", her 2017 essay in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Ms. Jones states that in the last decade, the SEC has made it easier for private companies to raise capital, which largely exempts them from the agency’s oversight. She insists that investors and policy makers "must take steps to address the problem of unaccountable unicorns".
Renee Jones is a Harvard law school graduate who practiced law at the Hill & Barlow law firm where she represented private and public companies on corporate and securities matters. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Jones was a tenured Boston College Law School Professor and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs where she taught classes on securities regulation, corporate governance and financial regulation.
It will be interesting to see how Ms. Jones, an African-American woman, uses her extensive professional experience, as well as her own unique perspective and personal experiences as a person of color to shape the regulatory body's rules.