Mary Jo White, an attorney who previously defended former Bank of America (BAC) CEO Ken Lewis, is reportedly being considered to fill the Securities and Exchange Commission’s top spot.
Analysts with Compass Point Research & Trading said moving from Elisse Walter, who is eligible to serve through 2013, to Mary Jo White would prompt some opposition from members of Congress.
White has a deep history in financial services, previously serving on the board of the Nasdaq, working as a retained attorney for Morgan Stanley and representing JPMorgan Chase (JPM) during the massive attorneys general settlement with mortgage servicers, Compass Point said.
“If nominated by the president, however, she will undoubtedly face some opposition on Capitol Hill due to her time defending high-profile financial institutions and Wall Street executives,” Compass Point said.
The research firm added, “White would also face scrutiny from Democrats due to a statement she made during a recent panel appearance urging caution when prosecuting financial crimes: ‘We must distinguish what is criminal from what is reckless behavior or bad business decisions and not bow to the frenzy…And I worry the frenzy overrides reason and judgment sometimes.'”