CFTC Taps Republican Commissioner Christopher Giancarlo as Acting Chairman

Lawmakers previously raised concerns about the timing of some of Giancarlo’s stock sales after his appointment in the CFTC.

Christopher Giancarlo, a Republican member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), will serve as acting chairman of the U.S. commodities-market regulator. He succeeds Timothy Massad, who announced earlier this month that he will leave the agency on January 20, after nearly three years at the helm of the top U.S. derivatives watchdog.

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Since Timothy’s announcement, Commissioner Giancarlo, who is the sole Republican currently serving on the Commission, was a leading candidate to head the CFTC in the Trump administration, at least on an interim basis.

It isn’t clear how long Mr. Giancarlo will hold the interim position at the agency, but the Senate has yet to confirm him for the CFTC chief slot.

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Christopher was one of three commissioners nominated to the CFTC by Barack Obama in 2013 and then was confirmed by the Senate on June 2014. On June 16, 2014, Mr. Giancarlo was sworn in as a CFTC Commissioner for a term expiring in April 2019.

Christopher Giancarlo, CFTC's Acting Chairman
Christopher Giancarlo, CFTC’s Acting Chairman

Mr. Giancarlo joined the CFTC from the GFI Group Inc., an interdealer broker based in New York, where he was executive vice president. Yet his resume saw lawmakers raising ethics questions about his ties with GFI, which is regulated by the CFTC. In 2015, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren raised concerns about the timing of some of Giancarlo’s stock sales after his appointment in the commission. Giancarlo divested his stake when the company became a takeover target, which caused its stock price to double. GFI reached its high for the year on the last day Giancarlo unloaded his shares in September 2014.

Giancarlo previously served as Executive Vice President and U.S. Legal Counsel of Fenics Software and was a corporate partner in the New York law firm of Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner.

Mr. Giancarlo received his law degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law and has been a member of the Bar of the State of New York since 1985.

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