The US Senate on Thursday confirmed Christopher Giancarlo to lead the Commodity Futures Commission, easily passing the Agriculture Committee in voice votes following his confirmation hearing.
Giancarlo was named acting chairman by the agency in January after former Chairman Timothy Massad stepped down when Barack Obama left office.
Separately, the CFTC said that it welcomed the vote of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, which has oversight responsibility for the commission. The agency added that the vote paves the way for Giancarlo’s nomination to move forward to consideration on the Senate floor.
Since Timothy’s announcement, Commissioner Giancarlo, who was the sole Republican serving on the Commission, was a leading candidate to head the CFTC in the Trump administration, at least on an interim basis.
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.
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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 to 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 US Legal Counsel of Fenics Software and was a corporate partner at the New York law firm of Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner.
He 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.
Mr. Giancarlo commented: “During my time as a Commissioner, I have witnessed firsthand the enduring commitment of Chairman Roberts, Ranking Member Stabenow and members of the Committee to our common purpose of serving the American people and the agricultural producers upon which we all rely.”
He added: “Derivatives serve the needs of society to promote job creation and prosperity, and the CFTC’s oversight of global risk management markets is the reason American consumers enjoy stable prices from the grocery store to their home heating providers. There is more work to be done to make the CFTC a 21st century regulator for our 21st century markets, and I look forward to partnering with members of the Agriculture and Appropriations Committees in both the House and the Senate, if confirmed, to achieve this goal.”