Biden to name Gary Gensler as U.S. SEC chair, sources say (Reuters)

Who Is Gary Gensler, Biden’s Pick To Run The SEC? (Forbes)

Biden Names New Acting Chair of the SEC (NAPA)

  • Sources:,,

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Article Highlights:

Several recent articles focus on the nomination of Gary Gensler to be the Chairperson of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the impact on the regulated community. 

So, who is Gary Gensler?

As we begin to predict what to expect from the SEC during the next several years you have to begin with understanding who will be running the organization.   There are a number of things we know about Mr. Gensler and his background and experience:

  • Having worked in the Goldman Sachs mergers and acquisitions business he has a strong understanding of the business, the market and the economic environment;
  • As a Professor at MIT he has demonstrated a broad understanding of the industry and especially the developing financial markets such as cryptocurrency; and
  • As the former Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chairperson he has deep experience leading a regulatory agency that was focused on regulatory enforcement (IBOR Cases), as well as reorganizing/refocusing deregulatory environment. Additionally, he has shown a strong understanding of the more complex areas of the industry including the swaps markets.

At the same time President Biden announced that Democratic SEC Commissioner Allison Herren Lee will serve as acting Chair of the SEC.

What can we expect from the SEC in 2021?

While the transition from the current SEC leadership will take some time, especially when much of the policy and enforcement functions will have to be redeployed and re focused, based on the nomination we can expect the SEC to focus on a number of areas, some of which are relatively straightforward, including:

  • Protections for retail and especially elderly investors;
  • Conflicts of interest, including Reg BI and private funds disclosure initiatives;
  • Financial crimes and fraud compliance, especially anti-money laundering;
  • Continued focus on COVID issues, such as remote supervision and cyber risk;
  • Trading abuses, such as market manipulation and insider trading;
  • Private fund issues, such as valuation and performance reporting; and
  • New products and businesses such as cryptocurrencies.

Additionally, several progressive Democratic issues should rise to the forefront in the coming years including: ESG, a long-standing European regulatory issue, board-diversification, executive compensation and consumer protection.