Could Krawcheck head the SEC?


Would Sallie Krawcheck make a good SEC chairwoman?

Ever since Mary Schapiro announced her intention to step down as chair of the SEC, the hunt has been intensifying, with quite a bit of jockeying going on. Elisse Walter, an SEC commissioner since 2008, is willing to jump into the job full-time but only until next year. Mary Miller, a senior Treasury Department official and a top candidate, has already removed herself from consideration for the job.

So the field as of now would appear to be wide open. One of the more intriguing candidates is Sallie Krawcheck, the former Fortune cover executive and a well-known figure in the banking world. Since stepping down from Bank of America, where she never quite jelled with CEO Brian Moynihan, she has been biding her time, looking for the right opportunity. She has had her eye on public service for a while now, going so far as to hire advisors to help her navigate the political waters.

Would she be right for the SEC job? She'd be ideal in the sense that she's knows the wealth management side of the industry as well as anyone, and she's been known as someone aiming to do right by the retail consumers that her company pitched. I do not think her time in the industry disqualifies her at all, as some have suggested. No one would call her the poster executive for the financial crisis.

In contrast, Lloyd Blankfein, fairly or not, would not have much of a chance at running the agency. It will be interesting to see how high the trial balloon rises.

One downside is Krawcheck's lack of experience as a regulator, buts ots of former executives make the leap. Regulatory work is not for every former big-time ex-executive, however. Eileen Rominger, a former Goldman Sachs executive, lasted only 16 months at the SEC as the Director of Investment Management. Perhaps she could counsel Krawcheck on what it's really like.

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