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CFTC Names Wetjen as Acting Chair

The US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced that the members of the Commission have unanimously elected commissioner Mark Wetjen to serve as acting chairman upon the end of current chairman Gary Gensler’s service.

“I am honoured to have been chosen to serve as acting chairman,” says Wetjen. “I thank my colleagues, commissioners Chilton and O’Malia, for their support and look forward to working collaboratively to oversee the ongoing implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act and the continuation of the CFTC’s critical mission. I also would like to thank chairman Gensler for his leadership of this agency and of the financial reform effort in the aftermath of the financial crisis. I am eager to continue that effort in consultation with my fellow commissioners.”

Gensler adds, “I am so pleased that my friend and partner Mark Wetjen will be acting chairman at such an exciting time for the agency. Mark has worked tirelessly to bring swaps market reform to life. The Commission has greatly benefitted from his thoughtful insight. The CFTC will be well served with Mark at the helm as it continues the important work of implementing financial reforms for the benefit of the public.”

Wetjen was sworn in as a commissioner of the CFTC on October 25, 2011. Prior to his CFTC service, he worked in the US Senate as a senior leadership staffer advising on all financial-services-related matters. Before his service in the US Senate, he was a lawyer in private practice.

Wetjen takes over as chairman at a time when the CFTC looks to be short of senior staff. Gensler is stepping down as chairman at the end of the year, Bart Chilton has already announced his decision to leave the CFTC and while a replacement for Jill Sommers, who left in July of this year, has not been appointed yet.

Sommers’ proposed replacement, J. Christopher Giancarlo, still has yet to be approved by the senate and Timothy Massad, the nominated candidate to succeed Gensler, is unlikely to be confirmed in the position until sometime in the first quarter of 2014.

This means that Wetjen could still be chairing the Commission when the important Made Available to Trade (MAT) rules are introduced and mandatory trading on SEFs begins.

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