The head of the trading and markets division for the US financial watchdog, Brett Redfearn, is preparing to step down by the end of the year after more than three years in the role.
Redfearn took up the role of trading and markets director at the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in October 2017. He has led the regulator’s trading unit of 255 staff including 168 attorneys on various issues related to institutional and retail trading.
In the role, Redfearn has overseen multiple major regulatory initiatives. Recently, the SEC adopted rules that will see key equity market data feeds decentralised and expanded in a bid to increase competition in the market data landscape.
Market data has been a key debate across the industry with market participants calling on regulators to address escalating market data costs and the monopoly that stock exchanges hold on crucial data.
“Brett’s extensive, practical knowledge of markets, market operations, and industry participants has enhanced greatly the SEC’s efforts to promote market integrity and improve market structure for the benefit of investors,” said Jay Clayton, chairman of the SEC. “It is rare that one person can materially lift the expertise and effectiveness of a large, well-functioning group. Brett is that rare person.”
Clayton is also preparing to step down from the SEC after almost four years as chairman, the longest-standing tenure chairman in the SEC’s history.
The SEC added that notably, Redfearn had led the trading division during the more volatile months this year in March and April as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped markets. He played a key role in maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets throughout the period, the regulator stated.
“We have relied on his steady hand from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and, throughout his tenure, his deep understanding of complex issues and market structure,” Clayton added. “Brett has applied his expertise deftly to assist the Commission in getting many important rulemaking and other initiatives across the finish line. It has been a privilege to work with Brett and his team.”