Sharon Bowen is leaving her position as a Commissioner at the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Bowen was sworn in as a Commissioner at the CFTC on June 9, 2014, for a five-year term.
Bowen chairs the CFTC Market Risk Advisory Committee (MRAC), and at a meeting of MRAC today, explained why she intends to leave her position at the CFTC two years before her term expires.
“With the departure of Chairman Massad, the work of this agency has been hampered by only having a two-person Commission, when we should be a five-person Commission. In fact, we have not been a five-person Commission since the departure of Commissioner O’Malia in 2014.
“Having just two Commissioners makes routine business difficult, but it makes policy decision almost impossible. Without a full complement of Commissioners to consider the far-reaching implication of our decisions, we’re frozen in place while the markets we regulate are moving faster every day. This fact is intolerable to me,” said Bowen.
She said that her goal in joining the CFTC was to protect investors, promote robust transparency and ensure vigorous regulatory enforcement in the derivatives market.
“I intend to continue doing all in my power to reach that goal,” she added. “My hope is that by leaving early, I can inspire key policy decision makers to confirm four nominees as soon as possible.”
Later describing her decision to leave as “bittersweet”, Bowen commented that “much as I relish my role as a Commissioner, I believe that my leaving in the next few months is the best thing for this agency”.
Prior to joining the CFTC, Bowen was previously confirmed by the US Senate and appointed by President Obama on February 12, 2010 to serve as vice chair of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC). She assumed the role of Acting Chair of SIPC in March 2012.
Before joining government, Bowen was a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins. Her legal career of almost 32 years began in 1982, when she started as an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell. Bowen joined Latham as a senior corporate associate in the summer of 1988 and became a partner in January 1991.
Bowen’s practice has included corporate, finance and securities transactions for large global corporations and financial institutions, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity, securities offerings, strategic alliances, corporate restructurings, leveraged finance, securitisations, distressed debt and asset acquisitions and venture capital financings.