Merri Jo Gillette, Director of the SEC's Chicago Regional Office since 2004, oversees the SEC's second largest regional office. The office enforces the federal securities laws and conducts regulatory examinations of securities industry firms in nine Midwestern states, which are resident to 25% of the U.S. population and more than 25% of the nation's 1000 largest corporations. Under Merri Jo's leadership, the office has brought a number of significant enforcement matters, many of which have involved extensive coordination with criminal authorities and have resulted in parallel criminal indictments. The office's Enforcement program includes staff in four of the Specialized Units: Asset Management, Municipal Securities and Public Pensions, Structured and New Products, and Market Abuse. The examination program has regulatory oversight responsibility for all registered broker-dealers, transfer agents, investment advisers and investment companies located within the region. The region is also home to three major clearing organizations: The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC), the Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE), and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
Merri Jo is a frequent speaker on securities-related topics. She also serves as a member of the Steering Committee for the Midwest Interagency Task Force, a working group sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and comprised of federal and state regulators of banks and other financial institutions throughout the Midwest. She is a graduate of Northwestern University and received her J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law.