Former U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, is taking on a new position as the chairman of the federal Board of Securities Investor Protection Corp., a congressionally created company charged with assisting people who lose money when brokerage firms fail.

President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he planned to nominate Poliquin for the volunteer post, which requires U.S. Senate confirmation.

Poliquin said in a prepared statement Friday that he is “honored the president has nominated me to chair this important national organization. I look forward to using my experience to help protect the savings and investments of Americans.”

Maine’s senior senator, Republican Susan Collins, congratulated Poliquin on Friday “on this impressive nomination. As a member of Congress, Bruce fought hard to protect the savings of hardworking Americans. I know Bruce will bring that same tenacity — along with his years of experience in business — to this new role.”

Poliquin, who served two terms representing Maine’s 2nd District, worked in the financial field for decades before getting into politics.

The White House said Poliquin was tapped to be both a director and the corporation’s designated chairman for the remainder of a three-year term, which expires at the end of 2021.

Poliquin pointed out that the corporation was created in 1970 with the help of legislation “advanced by another notable Maine public servant, the late Sen. Edmund Muskie.”

The SIPC is based in Washington and relies on a professional staff to carry out its mission, including overseeing a $3.2 billion insurance fund. In the past four years, the private corporation has recovered $5.8 billion for small investors.

In the past year, it has largely finished dealing with the collapse a decade ago of Lehman Brothers, distributing more than $106 billion to customers who feared they’d lost everything when the trading firm disintegrated in 2008.

It also handed out nearly $12 billion recovered for customers caught in the largest Ponzi scheme in history overseen by Bernie Madoff, who wound up in prison for scamming thousands of people over the course of years.

Poliquin’s statement on Facebook said he plans to continue to live in Maine and help care for his aging parents.

Poliquin announced this summer he would not challenge the Democrat who beat him narrowly in 2018, Jared Golden of Lewiston. He said his ailing parents needed him.


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