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Biden to Pick Gary Gensler for SEC Chief: Reuters

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What You Need to Know

  • Gensler is former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  • He earned a reputation as an aggressive regulator following the financial crises
  • He is pro-fiduciary

Gary Gensler, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, will be President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to become the new head of the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to Reuters.

“A knowledgeable and aggressive choice,” Nick Morgan, a partner at the global defense firm Paul Hastings, told ThinkAdvisor in a Tuesday email message. “As the chair of the CFTC during the Obama administration, Gensler earned a reputation as an aggressive regulator following the financial crises, particularly in his pursuit of the LIBOR manipulation cases.”

Gensler, however, “does not have the criminal prosecution background that [former SEC chair] Mary Jo White had, which may suggest a more career regulator approach than a ‘tough on crime’ approach,” Morgan said.

Gensler is pro-fiduciary.

As chairman of the Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission, which recommended the state pursue a fiduciary law, he told state senators in March 2019 that “If you don’t broaden the fiduciary duty to cover broker-dealers … if that’s not going to be the law, I would at least on the investment advisors that are already covered by fiduciary duty, raise that standard to the national standard, so it’s consistent.”