There was a good reason why former Securities and Exchange Chairman William Donaldson chose as his last official act a vote to reapprove controversial mutual fund governance reforms.

Faced with a narrow 3-2 voting margin on some of his biggest initiatives, Donaldson may well have calculated that his successor could turn the SEC into a very different place - where the 3-2 margin would shift to the other, less-restrictive side on contentious regulatory issues.

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