Paul Atkins is chief executive of Patomak Global Partners, LLC, which provides consulting services regarding financial services industry matters, including regulatory compliance, risk and crisis management, public affairs, independent reviews, litigation support, and strategy. He also serves as an independent director and non-executive chairman of the board of BATS Global Markets, Inc., a leading operator of electronic U.S. and European securities markets trading listed cash equity securities and equity options.
From July 2002 to August 2008, Mr. Atkins served as a commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. During his two terms, he advocated better transparency and consistency in the SEC’s decision-making and enforcement activities and smarter regulation that considers costs and benefits. He represented the SEC at various meetings of the US–EU Transatlantic Economic Council, the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, the World Economic Forum, and the Transatlantic Business Dialogue. He paid official visits to almost two-dozen countries on five continents.
From 2009 to 2010, he was appointed by Congress to serve as a member of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Before his government service, Mr. Atkins was a partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers and predecessor firm Coopers & Lybrand, where he advised financial services firms on regulatory compliance, internal controls, and risk management issues. During 1996–97 he was president of Resort Funding, Inc., a publicly-listed time-share finance company, whose business he helped rebuild, increasing its share value by almost 2000% before its ultimate sale to Cendant. In that connection, he also advised the trustee in bankruptcy of the parent of Resort Funding, The Bennett Funding Group, Inc., a $1 billion "Ponzi" fraud, which affected more than 20,000 investors. From 1990 to 1994 he served on the staffs of SEC chairmen Richard C. Breeden and Arthur Levitt as chief of staff and counsellor, respectively.
Mr. Atkins began his career as a lawyer with Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York, representing U.S. and foreign clients on a wide range of corporate finance, banking, and business combination transactions. He was resident for 2 1/2 years in his firm’s Paris office and was admitted as conseil juridique in France in 1988. Besides English, he speaks German and French.
Mr. Atkins received his A.B., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, from Wofford College and his J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law, where he was Senior Student Writing Editor of the Vanderbilt Law Review. A frequent speaker and television commentator on regulatory and capital markets issues, he is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research in Washington and is a trustee of the American Council on Germany. His writings include articles in the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times and “Evaluating the Mission: A Critical Review of the History and Evolution of the SEC Enforcement Program,” published in Fordham Journal of Corp. & Fin. Law, Vol. 8, pp. 367–417 (2008).