Commodity Futures Trading Commissioner Jill Sommers, one of two Republicans at the agency, said she will leave on Monday (July 8), one and a half years before her term is due to end in October 2014. Her resignation does not come as a surprise as she informed President Obama in January that she planned to leave (see NGI, Jan. 28). Asked where she intended to go after the CFTC, Sommers told NGI, “I don’t know. I have not started looking for my next opportunity yet.” Before leaving the agency, she pledged to carry out the investigation into MF Global Holdings Ltd. and former CEO Jon Corzine, a former U.S. senator and New Jersey governor; and an assistant treasurer for illegal use of customer money. The CFTC recently filed a proposed order against MF Global and Corzine, which is the subject of review by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Because CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler had ties to MF Global and Corzine, Sommers was picked to lead the investigation into the company’s collapse, which took with it an estimated $1.2 billion in customer funds (see NGI, Nov. 14, 2011). Sommers has been on the Commission as it worked on Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act. She was first sworn in as Commissioner in August 2007 for a term that expired in April 2009 then renominated by Obama to serve a second term. Some CFTC observers consider Christopher Giancarlo, executive vice president of the brokerage firm GFI Group Inc., a likely candidate to replace Sommers. “It’s not a fact, so we’re not going to comment,” said a GFI spokeswoman of the rumors, which she said had been circulating for a few weeks. Giancarlo is no stranger to Capitol Hill. He has testified several times about the challenges of implementing Dodd-Frank.
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