President-elect Joe Biden is expected to name Gary Gensler, a former head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), according to Reuters.
Gensler is a long-time Washington policymaker. He was a top Treasury official during the Clinton administration, and, while leading the CFTC, he helped craft Dodd-Frank, the federal government's response to the 2008 financial crisis.
"He's a smart and tough regulator who knows how to get things done," Barbara Roper, director of investor protection at the Consumer Federation of America, told The Wall Street Journal.
Analysts praise Gensler's tenure at the CFTC, the federal government's main derivatives regulator. He was there for five years immediately following the financial crisis.
"He was terrifically effective," Roper said.
Gensler is credited with creating a framework for regulating the over-the-counter swaps market and for going after banks whose manipulation of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) ultimately encouraged officials to consider replacing it.
After leaving the CFTC, the former Goldman Sachs banker joined Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign as its CFO. Currently, he's an adjunct instructor of finance at the MIT Sloan School of Management.
At the SEC, analysts expect Gensler to roll back many of the outgoing administration's regulatory efforts, including eased rules to encourage more companies to go public and to allow companies to pay gig workers partially in equity stakes.
He's also expected to seek tougher disclosure rules, tighten firewalls between companies and their auditors, and press companies to disclose their environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance.
"In stark contrast to the prior [SEC] chairman, Gary will actually look out for Mr. and Mrs. 401(k) and Main Street investors," Better Markets CEO Dennis Kelleher said in an Axios report. "Gary is the right choice to lead the SEC in a new direction."