The head of Linklaters U.S. structured finance & derivatives practice has been named director of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission's new Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight.
Gary Barnett, a specialist in the global swaps market, joins the CFTC at a crucial time, as the agency works to implement the first regulation of the $600 trillion market for over-the-counter derivatives. The commission’s expanded oversight comes under the Dodd Frank Act, which was signed into law in July 2010.
Barnett, who did not return a call seeking comment, has been a partner at Linklaters in New York since 2004. Before that, he was co-head of the securities and derivatives practice at Shearman & Sterling.
“Gary Barnett comes to the CFTC with a vast knowledge of the swaps market,” said commission Chairman Gary Gensler in a news release. “His derivatives expertise will be essential to leading the CFTC’s new division, which will be integral to implementing the Dodd-Frank provisions that will lower the risk of the swaps market to the overall economy.”
Barnett will have his work cut out for him. According to Davis Polk & Wardwell, which issues monthly reports tracking agency Dodd Frank rulemaking, the commission as of July had finalized 11 rules and missed the deadlines for 39 others.
The 600-person agency has also been far more heavily lobbied than other regulators implementing Dodd Frank, the firm’s analysis suggests. In the year since the financial overhaul passed, outside parties have met with commission staff 978 times, compared to 354 meetings with Federal Reserve officials, 322 meetings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and 127 at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.