President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris wasted little time in earlyNovember assembling their transitionteams. Some familiar faces — such as GaryGensler, former head of the CommodityFutures Trading Commission andDennis Kelleher, president and CEO ofBetter Markets — are part of the agencyreview team responsible for the FederalReserve as well as the Securities andExchange Commission and ConsumerFinancial Protection Bureau.
Agency review team members areresponsible for “understanding the operations of each agency, ensuring a smoothtransfer of power, and preparing forPresident-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris and their cabinet to hit theground running on day one,” explains theBiden-Harris transition website.
Gensler and Kelleher are both staunchfiduciary advocates. Gensler is also chairman of the Maryland Financial ConsumerProtection Commission, which recommended pursuing a state fiduciary law.
The Institute for the Fiduciary Standardawarded Gensler with the 2014 TamarFrankel Fiduciary Prize.
Kelleher of Better Markets, an advocacy group that supports financialregulation, has been a staunch opponent of the Securities and ExchangeCommission’s Regulation Best Interest.
Kelleher said during a Sept. 15
webcast, dubbed “President Trump’s
Deregulation of Wall Street Making
Catastrophe More Likely,” that the SEC
has left investors behind “over the last
three years as it protects industry profits
first. You can see that in the refusal to
enact the uniform fiduciary duty rule
so that brokers are required to always
put their clients’ interest first regarding
their clients’ own money.”
Reg BI was one of 65 final rules that
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton advanced to
date from the commission’s policy divi-
sions and offices. Clayton announced
in mid-November that he’d be stepping
down from the agency by year-end.
Names being floated to replaceClayton in the new administrationinclude Gensler, who also was formerco-head of Finance for Goldman Sachs,and Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney forthe Southern District of New York underformer President Barack Obama.
Also in mid-November, the LaborDepartment had yet to send its fiduciary prohibited transaction exemptionto align with Reg BI to the Office ofManagement and Budget for review.
Brad Campbell, partner at FaegreDrinker in Washington and former headof Labor’s Employee Benefits SecurityAdministration, said during a Nov. 5
webcast that Labor’s fiduciary rule toalign with Reg BI could be “a dead letter” if Labor failed to send is final version to OMB by mid-November.
Labor “is effectively out of time” tosend a final version of its fiduciary classexemption to align with Reg BI to OMBand have it reviewed and published byNov. 20, said Campbell.
If Trump published a final rule before
By Melanie Waddell
Washington in Transition
President-elect Joe Biden assembles his transition team as agency
leaderships are up for grabs