CFTC Leadership Changes Hands as Trump Takes Office

A key independent financial agency shifted into Republican hands Friday as President Donald Trump assumed office. Christopher Giancarlo, the lone GOP member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, became acting chairman at the CFTC, succeeding Timothy Massad.

Giancarlo has expressed interest in becoming the agency’s permanent chairman, saying that his tenure as acting chairman would help establish the regulatory agenda. “If I am honored to be nominated and confirmed by the Senate as CFTC chairman, my priorities should come as no surprise,” he said in a speech Wednesday at a derivatives trading conference in New York.

At the Securities and Exchange Commission, the sole Republican member of the SEC, Michael Piwowar, is expected to take over as acting chairman following the departure of Mary Jo White. The SEC had not made an announcement regarding Piwowar as of Friday afternoon, and an agency spokesman did not respond to an inquiry from Morning Consult.

White and Massad had previously announced their intention to step down from their posts at the end of President Barack Obama’s term.

Trump has tapped Wall Street attorney Jay Clayton for the top SEC post, but his confirmation hearing has not been scheduled. Trump will have three other slots to fill at the SEC to round out the five-member body that now consists only of Piwowar and Democratic Commissioner Kara Stein.

There also are three open slots at the CFTC to accompany Giancarlo and Democratic Commissioner Sharon Bowen.

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