(Reuters) – The US Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday tapped a new chief executive to head a unit tasked with overseeing the publication of public companies as the agency moves to address growing demands for greater corporate transparency environmental, social and governance issues.
Renee Jones, the recently serving dean of Boston College Law School, will head the SEC's corporate finance department on June 21, the SEC said in a statement. Prior to her career at the academy, Jones was a lawyer at the law firm Hill & Barlow.
The appointment puts Jones in a critical role overseeing an entity already heavily involved in the SEC's efforts to update climate risk information rules. and has the task of approving applications for special purpose acquisition companies, or SPAC, in a time of increasing scrutiny of the shell companies.
The SEC's Division of Corporate Finance has examined public company information on climate risks, an issue that has received increasing attention from regulators. SEC President Gary Gensler, who took office in April, has said that climate risk regulations will be a key focus.
The unit has also increased its focus on SPAC, which has become a popular method for companies to become public. Jones has called for regulatory changes to SPACs to better protect investors.
Analysts also expect her to help monitor the agency's efforts to reverse a 20-year decline in U.S. IPOs by making it more difficult for companies to leverage private sources.
The unit's current acting chief, John Coates, will be the SEC's adviser, also with effect from June 21