Silicon Valley Lawyer to Lead SEC Corporation Finance Unit

By Andrew Ramonas, Bloomberg BNA

California lawyer William Hinman will join the Securities and Exchange Commission as director of the Division of Corporation Finance, the agency announced May 9.

Hinman recently retired from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP in Silicon Valley after serving as a partner at the law firm since 2000. He advised clients on capital-raising transactions and corporate acquisitions.

“He has spent the last 37 years working in our public and private markets, and he understands the SEC’s mission to promote capital formation while ensuring that investors have the information necessary to make informed decisions,” SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said in a statement.

At Simpson Thacher, Hinman helped with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s record $25 billion initial public offering in 2014, along with IPOs for Facebook Inc. and Google, according to his law firm biography. Clayton also worked on Alibaba’s IPO.

Hinman was the managing partner of Shearman & Sterling LLP’s San Francisco and Menlo Park offices before moving to Simpson Thacher.

He will replace Shelley Parratt, who became the division’s interim leader after director Keith Higgins stepped down earlier this year.

The SEC hasn’t said when Hinman will join the commission.

The move marks the first high-level SEC appointment since Clayton became the agency’s chairman May 4. Although there are a number of SEC divisions and offices lacking a permanent leader, it isn’t clear whether more top appointments are in the offing.

An SEC representative didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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