Approximately one hundred days since being named Chairman of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, Christopher Giancarlo has taken steps that suggest his legacy will be decided on the success or failure of Project KISS and LabCFTC.
Late on Monday, Giancarlo announced Daniel Gorfine as the new Director of LabCFTC and Chief Innovation Officer at the CFTC, roles he will serve dually – and the latter in a manner yet to be determined as the position was only recently created for him by Giancarlo.
In the same day, Giancarlo made splashy announcements about the two initiatives – Project KISS and LabCFTC – that have emerged as potential legacy items whose success or failure will determine how his term will be viewed by posterity.
Project KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) is aimed at streamlining and simplifying CFTC regulations, while LabCFTC is designed to promote responsible FinTech innovation and fair competition.
Earlier on Monday, Giancarlo took his first significant step on Project KISS when he announced plans for a complete overhaul of the swap data reporting system, as previously reported by The Industry Spread.
Project Kiss was first announced in March 2017. Since then, Giancarlo has made several speeches, sent out press releases, and now announced his first initiative.
In May, he announced a public comment period, which he has referred to in nearly all his speeches since then; now, he’s looking to overhaul swap data reporting. LabCFTC has been on a similar trajectory.
Meanwhile, commenting on Gorfine’s appointments, Giancarlo said: “Daniel is a well-respected leader whose expertise in market-enhancing FinTech will help the CFTC disrupt the status quo and change the way government interacts with our ever-innovating marketplace. Daniel’s addition to the team will move our LabCFTC initiative into its next phase and will further our efforts to make the CFTC a 21st century regulator for our 21st century digital markets.”
In response, the newly appointed Gorfine commented: “New technologies are increasingly transforming financial markets and services, and have the potential to positively impact market competition and efficiency, as well as how we transact, allocate and move capital, and make financial decisions.” He went on to express his gratitude for the opportunity to implement Acting Chairman Giancarlo’s vision of promoting market-enhancing FinTech innovation and incorporating emerging technologies to make the CFTC a 21st century digital regulator.
Gorfine comes to the position with decades of industry experience. He’s previously served at the Milken Institute think tank as director of financial markets policy and legal counsel, at international law firm Covington & Burling and most recently as Vice President, External Affairs & Associate General Counsel at OnDeck, the publicly traded on-line small business loan lender.