Former CFTC Enforcement Director Discusses New Role and CFTC Experience (Part One of Two)

Sullivan & Cromwell has recently bolstered its new securities and commodities investigation and enforcement practice. First, Steven Peikin, former Co‑Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement joined the firm’s New York office. See our two-part conversation with Peikin: “New Position and Experience at the SEC” (Jan. 14, 2021); and “Enforcement’s Annual Report and SEC Developments” (Jan. 21, 2021). Then, in January 2021, James McDonald, Peikin’s counterpart at the CFTC, joined the firm after three years as the Director of the Division of Enforcement, where he oversaw the CFTC’s enforcement program, including its investigations and litigations; market surveillance activity; and whistleblower office. The Hedge Fund Law Report recently spoke to McDonald in connection with his move. In this article, the first in a two‑part series, McDonald discusses his new position, his experience at the CFTC and the relationship between regulatory agencies. In the second article, McDonald will talk about the CFTC’s whistleblower program; trends and private funds; the new administration; and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. For more on recent developments at the CFTC, see “New CFTC Rule Extends Bad Actor Bar to Exempt CPOs” (Oct. 8, 2020); and “CFTC Adopts Final Rule Revisions on CPO and CTA Exemptions and Exclusions From Compliance Obligations” (Mar. 5, 2020).

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