On January 18, 2021, the incoming President’s Transition Team announced additional key administration post nominees, including Mr. Gary Gensler as SEC Chair. The announcement specifically provided the following regarding Mr. Gensler’s background:
Gary Gensler served as chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission from 2009 to 2014, leading the Obama-Biden Administration’s reform of the $400 trillion swaps market. He was senior advisor to U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes in writing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and was Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance from 1999 to 2001 and Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Markets from 1997 to 1999. Gensler was Chairman of the Maryland Financial Consumer Protection Commission from 2017 to 2019.
Gensler also worked as CFO for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, as a senior advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign, and subsequently as an economic advisor for the Obama 2008 campaign. Prior to his public service, Gensler worked at Goldman Sachs, becoming a partner in the Mergers & Acquisitions department, headed the firm’s Media Group, led fixed income & currency trading in Asia, and lastly co-headed Finance, being responsible for the firm’s worldwide Controllers and Treasury efforts.
Currently, Gensler is a Professor of the Practice of Global Economics and Management, MIT Sloan School of Management, Co-Director of MIT’s Fintech@CSAIL & Senior Advisor to the MIT Digital Currency Initiative, researching artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, and new financial technologies. He won the MIT Sloan Outstanding Teacher Award based upon student nominations for the 2018-19 academic year. Gensler earned his undergraduate degree in economics in 1978 and his MBA from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania in 1979. He has three daughters, and is from Baltimore, Maryland.
As discussed in our Enforcement Highlights inaugural podcast, with a Democratic-appointed Chair, we anticipated a more progressive and aggressive regulatory and enforcement climate at the SEC. That said, of the various potential SEC Chair nominees being reported as under consideration, Mr. Gensler, based on his history at the CFTC and elsewhere, is considered to be further along the progressive spectrum than certain other reported names. We will be delving into this nomination and the future of the SEC further in upcoming podcasts with colleagues from our Corporate and Investment Management Practice Groups. So please “stay tuned” for future coverage in these upcoming podcasts.