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From Securities Regulation Daily, August 14, 2015

Commissioner Wetjen to depart CFTC

By Lene Powell, J.D.

CFTC Commissioner Mark Wetjen today announced that he plans to resign as commissioner as of August 28. Wetjen, who is a Democrat, has been a commissioner since October 2011. He served as acting chairman during the first half of 2014 following the departure of former Chairman Gary Gensler.

Wetjen’s departure will create a second vacancy on the Commission, as former Commissioner Scott O’Malia left in July 2014 to become head of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) and has not yet been replaced. After Wetjen is gone, the Commission will be down to three members: Chairman Massad (Democrat), Commissioner J. Christopher Giancarlo (Republican), and Commissioner Sharon Y. Bowen (Democrat).

Intensive Dodd-Frank work. Wetjen became commissioner when the CFTC was in the thick of writing scores of rules to implement the derivatives title of the Dodd-Frank Act. During his time on the commission, he helped craft more than 90 agency actions related to Dodd-Frank, including the adoption of extensive new reporting, registration, and clearing requirements for swaps transactions. Compliance for many new requirements has now been in force for months and in some cases years.

“When Mark arrived, the commission was just beginning the task of implementing the Congressional mandate to regulate the swaps market,” said CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad. “Today, thanks to Mark's help, the Commission has a framework in place to make the swaps market more open, transparent and competitive.”

In his resignation letter, submitted today to President Obama, Wetjen noted that he has particularly focused on the cross-border harmonization of the new derivatives rules, convening multiple sessions with global regulators and promoting new approaches to practical challenges to harmonization. Under his leadership, CFTC staff adopted a novel regulatory approach to allow for the recognition of derivatives trading platforms located outside the U.S.

Walt Lukken, president and CEO of FIA, the derivatives industry association, as well as a former CFTC commissioner and acting chairman, said of Wetjen, “His thoughtful, pragmatic approach and his focus on harmonizing international regulations have been especially valuable to our industry, and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Before joining the CFTC, Wetjen worked as a senior leadership staffer in the U.S. Senate, advising Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev) and members of the Democratic caucus on financial services and other matters, including the Dodd-Frank Act. He did not give any specifics regarding future plans.

“I leave knowing that under the leadership of Chairman Massad and the dedicated CFTC staff, the commission will continue working tirelessly to protect the integrity of the U.S. financial system,” said Wetjen.

MainStory: TopStory CFTCNews CommodityFutures Derivatives Swaps DistrictofColumbiaNews

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