The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that John J. Cross III, Director of the Office of Municipal Securities, will leave the agency in November.
Since September 2012, Mr. Cross has served as the first Director of the Office of Municipal Securities, which was established under the Dodd-Frank Act to oversee the municipal securities market. The Office of Municipal Securities administers the Commission’s rules for the municipal securities market and oversees rulemaking by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board, a self-regulatory organization. The Office of Municipal Securities also advises the Commission and other SEC offices on policy matters, enforcement, current market issues, and other issues affecting the municipal securities area, including municipal disclosure and municipal market structure initiatives.
During his tenure, Mr. Cross was instrumental in efforts to build and develop the Office of Municipal Securities into a standalone office staffed by a team of municipal securities experts. Mr. Cross played a leading role on a final rulemaking project for municipal advisor registration under the Dodd-Frank Act, which the Commission adopted in September 2013. Mr. Cross also led efforts to implement the municipal advisor registration regime, including providing guidance to market participants and participating in the legal review process for municipal advisor registrations. Mr. Cross also supported initiatives to enhance price transparency in the municipal securities market, in furtherance of the Commission’s recommendations in its July 2012 Report on the Municipal Securities Market.
“As the Office of Municipal Securities’ first director, John provided valuable leadership and expertise in the oversight of the municipal securities market that is so vital to financing our public infrastructure,” said Chair Mary Jo White. “John’s efforts to promote investor protection and structural integrity in the municipal securities market and his contributions to building a top-notch office will help us continue to carry out our mission in this important area.”
Mr. Cross said, “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve Chair White and the Commission, and to work with the exceptional dedicated staff in the Office of Municipal Securities and throughout the agency. I really appreciated Chair White’s unwavering commitment to our efforts in the municipal securities area.”
Before joining the SEC, Mr. Cross had a leading role in various positions in the public policy area affecting municipal finance. From 1994 to 2006, he was a partner at the national municipal bond specialty law firm Hawkins, Delafield & Wood LLP. Previously, he also served in the Financial Institutions and Products division of the IRS Chief Counsel’s office, where his work encompassed derivatives used with municipal bonds. From 2006 to 2012, Mr. Cross served as Associate Tax Legislative Counsel in the Office of Tax Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department, where he had significant responsibility for legislative, regulatory, and budgetary tax matters affecting municipal bonds, including significant roles in that agency’s response to municipal bond market challenges in the 2008 financial crisis and the implementation of tax incentives for municipal bonds in the 2009 Recovery Act.
Mr. Cross is expected to rejoin the Office of Tax Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department in November.
Mr. Cross received his B.A. from Brown University in 1978, a J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School in 1981, where he was a member of the Vanderbilt Law Review, and an LL.M in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center in 1988.