Scott O’Malia has been named chief executive officer of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) just 24 hours after leaving the US swaps and futures market’s top regulator.
After over four years at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), O’Malia handed in his resignation this week, and wasted no time in announcing his next move.
In joining ISDA, the former Commissioner will head the association currently embroiled in a legal battle with the CFTC over the cross-border reach of the regulators derivatives rules.
The position will allow him to represent market participants in lobbying for changes in the regulations he was previously a part of implementing.
“The need by thousands of companies around the world to manage and hedge their business and financial risks via derivatives remains as important as ever,” said O’Malia.
“ISDA’s role is to ensure derivatives markets help to fulfill this promise. It is a role that remains vital and relevant and I look forward to working with ISDA’s board, staff, members and external constituencies to address the challenges.”
O’Malia was one of the biggest critics of the way his former employer drafted up rules on the cross-border application of its derivatives reforms.
He said the decision was not backed by public comment and was calling for harmonisation between EU and US regulators as recently as last week.
By joining ISDA, O’Malia will team up with a like-minded association, which in a joint bid with the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the Institute of International Bankers (IIB), is suing the CFTC.
The lawsuit alleges that the CFTC failed to follow key requirements mandated by law with regard to development and issuance of the cross-border rule.
Taking the reins of the trade association, O’Malia succeeds ISDA’s long serving CEO Robert Pickel, who stepped down after 17 years in the role.
Pickel described O’Malia as being among ‘the most respected people in financial policy circles today’.
Before joining the CFTC, O’Malia was staff director to the US Senate Appropriations Subcomittee on Energy and Water Development.
From 2003 to 2004, he also served on the US Senate Energy and National Resources Committee after a decade as senior legislative assistant to US Senator Mitch McConnell.