WASHINGTON, June 14 (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission (SEC) on Monday tapped a new chief to lead a
unit tasked with overseeing public company disclosures as the
agency moves to address rising calls for greater transparency
from companies about environmental, social and governance
Renee Jones, recently an associate dean at Boston College
Law School, will become director of the SEC's division of
corporation finance on June 21, the SEC said in a statement.
Before her career in academia, Jones was an attorney with Hill &
Barlow law firm.
The appointment puts Jones in a critical role overseeing a
unit already heavily involved with the SEC's efforts to update
regulations around climate risk disclosures and tasked with
approving filings for special purpose acquisition companies, or
SPACs, at a time of increasing scrutiny of the shell companies.
The SEC's division of corporation finance has been reviewing
public company disclosures around climate risks, an issue that
has gained increasing attention from regulators. SEC Chair Gary
Gensler, who took the helm at the agency in April, has said
rulemaking around climate risk will be a key focus.
The unit has also been ramping up focus on SPACs, which have
become a popular method for companies to go public. Jones has
called for regulatory changes to SPACs to better protect
Analysts also expect her to help oversee the agency's
efforts to reverse a 20-year decline in U.S. public company
listings by making it harder for companies to tap private
sources of capital.
The unit's current acting head, John Coates, will become SEC
general counsel, also effective June 21, the statement said.
Coates, previously a professor at Harvard University, has been
leading the division of corporation finance since February.
(Reporting by Chris Prentice and Katanga Johnson
Editing by Will Dunham and Alistair Bell)