Renee Jones to Join SEC as Director of Corporation Finance; John Coates Named SEC General Counsel

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Renee Jones has been appointed Director of the Division of Corporation Finance. John Coates, the Division’s current Acting Director, has been named SEC General Counsel. Both appointments are effective June 21, 2021.

Renee Jones

Jones most recently served as Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Boston College Law School, where she taught courses in corporations, securities regulation, startup company governance, and financial regulation. Previously, she represented private and public companies on corporate and securities matters at Hill & Barlow law firm. Jones is a member of the American Law Institute and has served as the Co-Chair of the Securities Law Committee of the Boston Bar Association. She received an undergraduate degree from Princeton University and a J.D. from Harvard University.

“Robust public disclosure has been a hallmark of effective securities regulation since the 1930s,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “Renee brings deep expertise in corporate governance and securities law to the Division of Corporation Finance. Her leadership will be invaluable as the Division facilitates disclosure under our current rules and undertakes rule modernization to meet the challenges of today. I am pleased to welcome Renee to the SEC and look forward to working with her.”

“I am excited to join the Division of Corporation Finance’s team of experienced and dedicated public servants,” said Jones. “The Division plays an essential role in ensuring investors have the information they need to make informed investment decisions. I will work tirelessly to execute our rules and make sound recommendations that will help the SEC realize its mission.”

John Coates

Coates has served as the SEC’s Acting Director of the Division of Corporation Finance since February 2021. Before joining the SEC, he served as the John F. Cogan Professor of Law and Economics at Harvard University, where he also was Vice Dean for Finance and Strategic Initiatives. Previously, Coates was a partner at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, specializing in mergers and acquisitions and financial institutions. During his prior service on the SEC’s Investor Advisory Committee, he chaired the Investor-as-Owner Subcommittee. Coates received his Bachelor of Arts with highest distinction from the University of Virginia and his law degree from New York University Law School.

“In only two months, I’ve come to rely upon John’s deep expertise and judgment, traits that are essential in the role of General Counsel,” said Chair Gensler. “I thank Michael Conley for his service as Acting General Counsel, and I look forward to continuing to work with Michael and John on critical matters before the Commission.”

“I am honored to continue to help advance the SEC’s mission to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation,” said Coates. “During my tenure as Acting Director of Corporation Finance, I experienced firsthand the unwavering commitment of the SEC staff, and I look forward to serving in a new role as the Commission’s General Counsel.”

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