Gary Gensler, former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has been named by President-elect Joe Biden to head the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Biden made the announcement Monday.
As a fiduciary supporter, Gensler’s priorities will include beefing up the “weak protections” in the agency’s Regulation Best Interest, according to Barbara Roper, director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America.
One priority: defining “best interest.”
Gensler “has a record of strong support for a fiduciary standard, but I expect he’ll adopt the broadly supported approach of working within the framework of Reg BI rather than scrapping it and starting from scratch,” Roper told ThinkAdvisor on Tuesday in an email.
Rohit Chopra, a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, will be Biden’s pick to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Gensler, who was chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 2009 to 2014, also spent 18 years at Goldman Sachs. He was chairman of the Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission from 2017 to 2019, was senior advisor to former Sen. Paul Sarbanes, D-Md., and helped write the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
Gensler is professor of the Practice of Global Economics and Management, MIT Sloan School of Management, co-director of MIT’s [email protected] and senior advisor to the MIT Media Lab Digital Currency Initiative.
“Every chairman comes into the job with their own priorities,” former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt told ThinkAdvisor in a Tuesday morning interview. “I can’t think of anyone better qualified than Gary. … He’ll be a great chairman. He’s always been enormously effective at everything he’s done.”
Unlike former SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, who “was a product of an anti-regulatory environment,” Gensler “is a product of probably a close examination of where we stand from a regulatory point of view,” more along the lines of Mary Jo White, who served as SEC chair under Obama, Levitt said.