01.22.2021

CFTC Names Rostin Behnam Acting Chairman

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that the members of the Commission have unanimously elected Commissioner Rostin Behnam as Acting Chairman effective immediately.

Acting Chairman Behnam succeeds Heath P. Tarbert who served as Chairman since July 15, 2019, and announced his departure from the role earlier. Mr. Tarbert remains a Commissioner, serving a term expiring on April 13, 2024. [See CFTC Press Release No. 8354-21]

“I want to express gratitude to President Biden for the opportunity to serve in this capacity,” said Acting Chairman Behnam. “The work of the CFTC is critical to supporting the stability and growth of the American economy through strong oversight and regulation of derivatives markets. As a commissioner, I have focused on ensuring our rules prioritize customer protections, examining potential systemic market risk, and gaining a better understanding of what regulators can do to address climate-related financial market risk. I am grateful to my fellow commissioners for their support, and I look forward to continuing to work with Commissioners Quintenz, Stump, Berkovitz, and Tarbert as well as with the hundreds of extraordinary employees and contractors who continually demonstrate excellence in upholding our mission and purpose. I thank Commissioner Tarbert for his service as Chairman and for facilitating a smooth transition.”

Mr. Behnam was nominated to be a CFTC Commissioner on July 13, 2017 for a term expiring on June 19, 2021. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 3, 2017 and was sworn in on September 6, 2017.

Source: CFTC

Heath P. Tarbert Concludes Tenure As CFTC Chairman

Heath P. Tarbert concluded his tenure as the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s 14th Chairman and Chief Executive. Mr. Tarbert took office on July 15, 2019 and on December 10, 2020 announced he would step down from the chairmanship in early 2021. He currently remains one of the agency’s five Commissioners, with a term expiring on April 13, 2024.

“It has been the highlight of my professional career to serve the American people as this agency’s 14th Chairman and Chief Executive. It is bittersweet to step down from a role that I have enjoyed so much, but it is important to clear the way for President Biden’s selection of a permanent chair. The peaceful transfer of power is a hallmark of the American system of self-government, and I am proud of our efforts to uphold that tradition here at the CFTC,” said Mr. Tarbert.

“I am incredibly proud of this agency’s record setting accomplishments over the last 18 months,” Mr. Tarbert continued. “We undertook an ambitious and consensus-driven rulemaking agenda, vigorously protected market integrity with a historic enforcement effort, provided a steady hand for our markets during the pandemic, preserved our jurisdiction over US clearinghouses, and so much more. I am immensely grateful to my staff, the agency’s career professionals, my fellow commissioners, and my family for making all of this historic progress on behalf of the American people possible.”

Under Chairman Tarbert’s leadership, the CFTC set the global standard for sound derivatives regulation by:

  • Holding 20 open meetings, more than the previous 7 years combined;
  • Advancing 41 final rules and 21 proposals—90 percent of them on a bipartisan basis;
  • Setting numerous records for enforcement, including most cases in a fiscal year (113 in FY2020);
  • Taking more than 20 actions to support liquid and orderly trading including during the pandemic;
  • Successfully concluding international negotiations to preserve CFTC jurisdiction over US clearinghouses;
  • Presiding over the self-certification of more than 1,000 new products to trade on our markets;
  • Promoting responsible fintech innovation, elevating LabCFTC into an independent operating unit, and beginning to treat Ether as a commodity;
  • Implementing a major reorganization and establishing a new Division of Data; and
  • Enhancing diversity with more women and people of color serving in senior leadership roles than ever before.

Source: CFTC

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