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Former Congressman Ken Bentsen has been appointed as executive VP, Public Policy and Advocacy and head of SIFMA's Washington, D.C., office, taking over the position from Michael Pease, who left the association in May.
Bentsen joins SIFMA from the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association, where he has served as president and chief operating officer since 2006.
After starting his role at SIFMA in September, Bentsen will be responsible for SIFMA's legal, governmental, and legislative affairs and advocacy initiatives. Bentsen will report directly to SIFMA President and CEO Timothy Ryan. "With his breadth of financial experience in both the private and public sector, Ken understands our member's public policy goals and business interest and will help drive our efforts to play a proactive, constructive role in the ongoing regulatory reform debate," said Ryan in a prepared statement.
Bentsen said in the same statement that he's "been impressed by SIFMA's proactive posture toward enacting financial regulatory reform which greatly influenced my decision to join."
Bentsen served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas from 1995 to 2003, where he sat on the House Financial Services Committee (and its predecessor House Banking and Financial Services Committee), and separately on the House Budget Committee. Bentsen was an active participant in the drafting and enactment of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act, and the Commodities Futures Modernization Act. SIFMA also notes that during his tenure in the Congress, he played an active role in legislation and oversight of regulations affecting bank and thrift charters, federal deposit insurance, securities law, derivatives, and the federal government sponsored enterprises (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the FHLB system). Bentsen was also instrumental in the passage of the landmark Balanced Budget Act of 1997, particularly with respect to health care policy.
Prior to his service in Congress, Bentsen was an investment banker in New York and Texas.