Research News

Vanderbilt professor named Securities and Exchange Commission’s chief economist

Craig Lewis
Craig Lewis (Vanderbilt)

Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Mary Schapiro has named Vanderbilt finance professor Craig M. Lewis the new director of the SEC’s Division of Risk, Strategy, and Financial Innovation and chief economist of the SEC.

Lewis, the Madison S. Wigginton professor of management in finance at the Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management, has been working on sabbatical at the SEC since January 2010.

“I am honored that Chairman Schapiro has offered me the opportunity to lead the division and the SEC’s economists at this critical juncture,” said Lewis. “I look forward to fostering durable new analytic models that will promote efficient and effective work throughout the agency, from rule-writing through enforcement.”

Lewis joined the Owen faculty in 1986 and has been widely published since that time on a wide range of financial issues. His interests and current research topics include stock and futures markets, margin adequacy, corporate earnings management, corporate financial policy, executive compensation, selective disclosure, and herd behavior by equity analysts.

“This is a great opportunity for Craig, a highly respected professor and researcher here at Vanderbilt and deeply admired by his students,” said Owen Dean Jim Bradford. “[rquote]His appointment as chief economist at the SEC exemplifies a long tradition of high-caliber, real-world work that has earned the finance faculty here a place of prestige among business schools.[/rquote]”

Risk Fin, created by the SEC in September 2009 to help identify market risks and trends in the wake of the financial crisis, was the SEC’s first new division in 37 years. According to the SEC website, “it provides sophisticated, interdisciplinary analysis across the entire spectrum of SEC activities, including policymaking, rulemaking, enforcement and examinations. In addition to this role as an agency think tank, Risk Fin was created to help break down silos that compartmentalized the SEC’s institutional expertise.”

Lewis’ position with the SEC is a two-year appointment. He will be on sabbatical from Vanderbilt during that time.

Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management is ranked as a top institution by BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, Financial Times and Forbes.

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