RELEASE Number
7947-19

June 26, 2019

Matthew Kulkin, DSIO Director, to Leave the CFTC  

Washington, DC — The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announced today that Matthew Kulkin, Director of the CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer & Intermediary Oversight (DSIO), will leave the agency later this summer.

Since 2017, Kulkin has led DSIO, the CFTC’s division that primarily oversees derivatives market intermediaries, including swap dealers, futures commission merchants, commodity pool operators, commodity trading advisors, introducing brokers, major swap participants, and retail foreign exchange dealers, as well as designated self-regulatory organizations.

Kulkin has been responsible for a number of significant measures intended to reduce regulatory burdens, streamline the CFTC’s regulatory framework, and remove impediments to new entrants into the derivatives markets. 

“Matt’s leadership has been instrumental in a number of the advancements we have made during my Chairmanship,” said CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo.  “I thank Matt for his hard work implementing our Project KISS initiative and taking steps to ensure the financial integrity, fitness, and fair business conduct of swap dealers and other market intermediaries.  Matt has served the Commission with distinction and leaves a legacy of increased collegiality within the agency and with market participants among his many achievements.”

“I thank Chairman Giancarlo for the opportunity to serve at the CFTC during such an important time for global derivatives and capital markets.  Under his steady leadership, we have been able to address a number of issues of great importance to market participants.  I appreciate the collaborative approach taken by Chairman Giancarlo, our Commissioners, and my fellow Division and Office Directors to serve the markets and the American public,” said Kulkin.  “It has been a sincere privilege to lead a DSIO team comprised of such talented and hardworking individuals.  I will be forever grateful for their counsel and goodwill.  I wish them all the best.”

Kulkin was directly responsible for a number of accomplishments, including:

  • Adoption of a permanent $8 billion swap dealer de minimis threshold, as well as an exception for swaps entered into by insured depository institutions in connection with loans;
  • Proposal and adoption of a number of Project KISS rulemakings that streamlined regulatory burdens for chief compliance officers, swap dealers, futures commission merchants, commodity pool operators, commodity trading advisors, and designated self-regulatory organizations; 
  • Implementation of the Volcker Rule, including the proposed “Volcker 2.0” amendments, as well as the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act;
  • Substituted compliance determinations for foreign jurisdictions, including the European Union, Japan, and Australia;
  • Actions to prepare market participants in the event of a no-deal Brexit;
  • Staff relief to remove regulatory burdens preventing certain market participants, like prime brokers and proprietary trading firms, from providing liquidity for customers on registered trading venues;
  • Efforts related to cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology, including bitcoin futures contracts; and
  • Measures taken through the Working Group on Margin Requirements to prepare market participants for Phase 5 initial margin in September 2020.

Prior to his appointment, Kulkin was a partner at Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he advised financial market participants on legislative and regulatory issues.  He previously worked at Squire Patton Boggs LLP.  While in private practice, Kulkin was the co-chairman of the DC Bar Derivatives, Securitization, and Project Finance Committee. 

Kulkin received his J.D. from The George Washington University Law School, where he was a Thurgood Marshall Scholar.   Kulkin received his B.A. from Tufts University.