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CFTC fills vacancies with new commissioner, chief economist

Joe Mont | August 30, 2017

Earlier this month, Brian Quintenz was officially sworn in to serve as a commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the federal agency that oversees the commodity futures, options and swaps industry. His term expires in April 2020.

“I am honored to be among the first to congratulate Brian on joining the Commission,” said Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo. “I look forward to working with him in the critical role the Commission plays in regulating the derivatives markets.”

Prior to his appointment to the CFTC, Quintenz founded and served as the managing principal and chief investment officer of Saeculum Capital Management, a registered Commodity Pool Operator that specialized in risk management and technical analysis investment strategies.

Quintenz started his career in finance at Hill-Townsend Capital, a registered investment advisor established to focus solely on U.S. bank and financial company investment opportunities. While there, he performed valuation analysis on regional and global banks, projected future earnings estimates, and implemented proprietary hedging strategies.

Prior to working in the financial markets, Quintenz worked for Ohio Congresswoman Deborah Pryce and ultimately became her senior policy advisor.

Quintenz graduated magna cum laude from Duke University with a major in Public Policy Studies and received an MBA from Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, where he was inducted into the Phi Beta Gamma honors society.

Quintenz, for now, will serve alongside fellow commissioner Sharon Bowen. In June, she announced her decision to depart the agencystep down at a June 20 meeting of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Risk Advisory Committee.

“Why am I doing this? The answer is simple: because, since the departure of former Chairman Timothy Massad, the work of this agency has been hampered by only having a two-person Commission when we should be a five-person Commission,” she said. “In fact, we have not been a five-person Commission since the departure of Commissioner Scott O’Malia in August 2014.”

“Having just two Commissioners makes routine business difficult, but makes important policy decisions almost impossible,” she added. “Without a full complement of commissioners to consider the far-reaching implications of our decisions, we are frozen in place while the markets we regulate are moving faster every day. This fact is intolerable to me… My hope is thus that by leaving early, I can inspire the key decision-makers to confirm four nominees as soon as possible.”

Bowen, who has served on the Commission since 2014, expressed her admiration for the work the agency does and the leadership of Chairman Giancarlo.

Bowen did not announce an exact date for her departure.

Giancarlo also appointed Bruce Tuckman, an internationally-recognized economist and expert in modern derivatives markets, as the agency’s chief economist. He also appointed former Chief Economist Sayee Srinivasan as special advisor in the Chairman’s Office.

Tuckman will begin leading the Office of the Chief Economist on Sept. 5. OCE provides economic advice to the Commission and conducts research on policy issues critical to the agency. The office also plays an integral role in the implementation of new financial market regulations by providing economic expertise and cost-benefit considerations underlying those regulations.

Tuckman joins the CFTC from New York University’s Stern School of Business, where he was a clinical professor of finance. His recent writings have focused on financial markets policy, including the role of derivatives during the crisis and the post-crisis regulation of derivatives. His leading textbook on fixed income markets is now in its third edition.

Prior to NYU Stern, Tuckman held leadership and management positions in the prime services and fixed income divisions of Barclays Capital and Lehman Brothers. He began his career in the financial industry at Salomon Brothers.

Tuckman is a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College with an A.B. in Statistics and Economics. He holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Srinivasan has served as chief economist since December 2013, advising the Commission and staff on a broad range of issues pertaining to derivatives and related markets. Under his leadership, OCE has helped design, finalize and implement multiple Dodd-Frank Act rules, and continued the tradition of informative economic research into the U.S. futures and swaps markets. Srinivasan led CFTC in the Joint Staff Report on the Oct. 15, 2014 flash event in the U.S. Treasury Markets.

Prior to joining CFTC in January 2012, Srinivasan worked in market and product development roles for Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India, Chicago Mercantile Exchange and OptiMark Technologies. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and an MBA from University of Bombay, and a masters and PhD in economics from University of Texas at Austin.