SEC's Paul Atkins to step down

Paul Atkins, a commissioner at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, will step down after his term ends next month.

Atkins was named one of the SEC's five commissioners in 2002. His term ends on June 5, but he will stay on until a replacement is found.

He will be the third commissioner to quit in the past year - Annette Nazareth left in January 2008 and Roel Campos in September 2007. Neither have so far been replaced. SEC rules require that no more than three of the five commissioners be from the same political party, and the departure of Nazareth and Campos, both Democrats, left the SEC entirely under Republican control, with the three remaining commissioners - Atkins, Kathleen Casey and chairman Christopher Cox - all belonging to the Republican Party. While Atkins' replacement could theoretically be another Republican, they would have to be approved by the US senate, which is now under Democratic control.

Atkins joined the SEC in 1984, and worked as a specialist in financial services and securities regulation, serving as executive assistant to former chairman Richard Breeden and counsellor to his successor Arthur Levitt.

See also:  Nazareth resigns as SEC commissioner

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