President Trump intends to nominate Brian Quintenz, a former head of a Washington-based investment firm, to be a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) for the remainder of a five-year term expiring April 13, 2020, the White House said Friday.
Quintenz, a Republican, was previously a senior policy advisor to Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH), was the founder, managing principal, and CIO of Saeculum Capital Management LLC, and worked at Hill-Townsend Capital LLC. He received a bachelor of science degree from Duke University and a master of business administration degree from Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business.
Quintez and Democrat Chris Bummer were nominated to CFTC by President Obama in 2016. Their nominations received initial approval by the Senate Agriculture Committee but were not taken up by the full Senate. Both were renominated by Obama before he left office, but their nominations were withdrawn by Trump in February.
"The financial crisis scarred every sector of our economy, hurt individuals, families and communities, and exposed deep flaws in our markets," Quintez told the Agriculture Committee during his 2016 confirmation hearing. "It deserved a legislative and a regulatory response. As that response is calibrated, regulations meant to address those flaws should not spill over to harm the normal activity of ordinary businesses.
"When costs are added without targeting risk, poor outcomes ensue. When standardized rules treat low-risk behavior and high-risk behavior equally, risk is encouraged instead of reduced. I will work to ensure that regulations and their burdens are tied to the risks being mitigated."
The CFTC, which can have as many as five commissioners, currently has only two -- Acting Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo, a Republican; and Sharon Bowen, a Democrat -- which is too few to constitute a quorum. No more than three commissioners from any political party may serve at CFTC simultaneously.
Within minutes of Trump taking the oath of office in January, CFTC announced that Commissioner Giancarlo had been designated as acting chairman of the regulatory agency. Giancarlo succeeded Timothy Massad, who in January tendered his resignation to then-President Obama. Giancarlo, a frequent critic of CFTC decisions under Massad, was a brokerage firm executive before being appointed to CFTC in 2014.