Paul Atkins is chief executive of Patomak Global Partners, LLC. He founded the company in 2009 to leverage his decades of regulatory, policy, political and legal expertise to support and advise companies operating in the capital markets. His work is driven by his belief in the power of open, free and competitive capital markets that allow for opportunity.
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.
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.
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.
From 2012 to 2015, Mr. Atkins served 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. He is a trustee of the American Council on Germany, serving as chairman of the audit committee, and is a member of the Committee for Economic Development of the Conference Board.
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 theVanderbilt 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. His writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Forbes, USA Today, andPolitico, as well as scholarly journals such as the Harvard Business Law Review and the Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law.