CFTC chairman Massad to step down

CFTC chairman Massad to step down

Timothy Massad plans to step down as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) after two-and-a-half years at the helm of the US derivatives regulator.

Massad has tendered his resignation, the agency confirmed on Tuesday. His departure, which was expected, is set to coincide with the end of the Obama administration and Donald Trump’s inauguration as President.

He took charge of the CTFC after it was handed expanded powers to oversee complex parts of the derivatives market as part of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.

Among the accomplishments under his leadership, the regulator proposed and adopted margin requirements for uncleared swap transactions - perhaps the single most important element in multi-trillion dollar swaps market regulation called for by Dodd-Frank.

The CFTC also worked to ensure clearinghouses became stronger and more resilient through enhanced risk surveillance, stress testing, and the development of recovery plans and rules.

“I came to the CFTC with a number of priorities, and I am proud we have made significant progress in every area,” Massed said in a statement.

“We have taken many actions to make sure commercial businesses can continue using the derivatives markets efficiently and effectively to hedge routine commercial risk and engage in price discovery,” he added.

Massad will remain at the regulator for a few more weeks in order to allow for a proper transition to the new administration.

Christopher Giancarlo, the CFTC’s only Republican member, is expected to succeed Massad, at least on an interim basis. 

FIA president and chief exec Walt Lukken thanked Massad for his service to the industry.

“Chairman Massad has provided steady leadership at the CFTC, characterized by his thoughtful approach to policymaking. He made it a priority to speak with industry members to gain insights and gather feedback on key issues. In particular, he made strides in the efficient and effective cross-border harmonization of regulatory initiatives."

Massad's resignation plans mirror the exit of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) chairman Mary Jo White, who announced she would leave the top US markets regulator shortly after Donald Trump won the US presidential race in November.

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