The Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC), which oversees the US investment market, announced yesterday Dalia Blass as a new Director of the agency’s Division of Investment Management, according to a press release.
That division is in charge of ETFs in particular and the investment management industry more generally. With Jay Clayton, the Trump appointed new chair of the SEC, stating:
“Dalia’s years of service here at the SEC and extensive experience in the private sector will make her a valuable asset to the agency and the Division of Investment Management. The investment management industry is constantly evolving, yet its integrity is vital to our markets and Main Street investors. I know Dalia and the dedicated team in the Investment Management Division recognize this and will continue to work every day to fulfill the SEC’s mission.”
Blass’s credentials seem impeccable. A Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, she started her career in the London office of Shearman & Sterling LLP, gradually progressing to Ropes & Gray LLP, which she now leaves to join the SEC.
Ropes & Gray is the firm advising the Winklevoss in their bitcoin ETF bid. Blass didn’t do so directly as far as we are aware, but this appointment is hopefully the Republicans way of sending a signal, one that will priorities innovation and the free market over the democrat’s need to red-tape everything.
Blass, in her choice of words, seems to suggest so. After the customary thanking and expression of gratitude, the new director says:
“The asset management industry is more important than ever to American investors and to our capital markets. I am humbled by the opportunity to lead the Division and to promote opportunities for capital formation and innovation that benefits investors.”
That’s a different tune from “protecting the public” we have been hearing from the previous administration. Although, of course, that’s assumed, but they provided a protection by denying the public the opportunity to engage in 1,000% gains as bitcoin and other digital currencies went mainstream.
A protection they provided by allowing for weeks of speculations on whether the ETF would be approved or not, even though they seemingly had already made their decision in February, and by dropping a bombshell at the very last minute in rejecting the ETF – after a nearly four years long process – in a manner that some took as an intentional insult to this space.
It only took a few days for that decision to be re-opened for a review. A decision that was made while the SEC did not even have a chairman as the new administration was just moving in. With its re-opening suggesting the decision was made by the previous administration and the new one might perhaps not quite agree with it.
Now, with the appointment of Blass, it seems this space is being sent a very strong signal. Not least because institutional investors are now moving in, with some of them saying they can no longer ignore this space as it keeps on rising to a current $175 billion market.