Business

Mary Jo White gets SEC job after Senate confirmation

Mary Jo White
Image caption Mary Jo White joins at a critical time for regulation on Wall Street

The US Senate has confirmed Mary Jo White as the new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the body that regulates Wall Street.

The former federal prosecutor was nominated in January by President Barack Obama to replace SEC chairman Mary Schapiro after she stepped down.

The new head built a reputation as a tough crime-fighter serving as attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Ms White, 65, spent almost 10 years as the Southern District attorney.

She assumes her new role at a critical time for Wall Street, with new rules and regulations being introduced following the financial crisis. But the Senate confirmation only allows for her to complete the remainder of Ms Schapiro's five-year term, which ends in June 2014.

There had been some concern about her time as a lawyer in private practice representing big corporations. However, she has pledged to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

She told the Senate Banking Committee last month that she would aggressively pursue enforcement and hold accountable "all wrongdoers, individual and institutional, of whatever position or size".