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CFTC sees Massad appointment in “three to six months”


The acting chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Mark Wetjen believes the appointment of his proposed replacement Tim Massad could take as long as six months, writes Luke Jeffs.

Wetjen told the world’s largest swap brokers last week he expected the new chairman to take over at the CFTC in “three to six months”, according to two sources in London.

The acting CFTC chairman, who was elected to that post on December 16 last year, also sought to reassure the European firms, some of whom criticised the CFTC under former chair Gary Gensler, that the Commission will consult more with the industry in future.

The comments came during a European tour that saw Wetjen meet the European Commission on Thursday and Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority on Friday.

The CFTC did not respond to calls requesting comment.

Barack Obama nominated Tim Massad, formerly of the US Treasury, as CFTC chair in November but his appointment as head of the world’s top futures regulator still needs approval from the US Senate.

Wetjen has been acting chairman of the CFTC since Gensler stepped down at the start of this month and will continue to run the Commission until Massad takes office.

The CFTC has not yet given any guidance when this will happen but the regulator will be keen to appoint Massad so he can get on with the job of implementing the Dodd-Frank rules, a programme that continues apace in the US.

February 21 is the next major deadline in the far-reaching reform, when swap dealers and inter-dealer brokers will have to start using electronic trading systems known as swap execution facilities.

The CFTC and its international peers are forcing traders to use Sefs to make the global $400tn swap market more transparent and easier to regulate.