CFTC commissioner Wetjen resigns

Agricultural groups will be looking to fill the spot with someone well-versed in agriculture.

Commissioner Mark P. Wetjen plans to step down from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission at the end of the month, ending a career at the CFTC that first began when he was unanimously confirmed in the Senate in October 2011 and also included a stint as acting chairman from January 2014 until June 2014 until current chairman Timothy Massad was confirmed.

During his tenure as Commissioner, Mr. Wetjen helped implement the Dodd-Frank Act, supporting and helping craft over ninety CFTC actions. Additionally, during his chairmanship, Wetjen oversaw the implementation of the first trading mandate for certain interest rate and credit default swaps.

Wetjen has no announced plans.

In a statement on his departure, Wetjen said he is “confident the Commission will continue to ensure the derivatives markets remain open, transparent, competitive and financially sound.”

Futures Industry Assn. president and chief executive officer Walt Lukken, who served as a commissioner himself from 2002 until 2009,  said Wetjen was a “consensus-builder who worked tirelessly to develop and implement the financial regulations required by the Dodd-Frank Act.” Lukken added that during Wetjen’s tenure he was instrumental to improving transparency and strengthening customer projections.

“His thoughtful, pragmatic approach and his focus on harmonizing international regulations have been especially valuable to our industry, and we wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors,” Lukken said.

Todd Kemp, vice president of marketing and treasurer at the National Grain and Feed Assn., said Wetjen made a “real effort to get to know our industry and issues important to us.”

NGFA and other agricultural groups will likely lobby for Wetjen’s replacement to have some background in and understanding of production agriculture and agribusinesses’ concerns. Over the past three years three new commissioners have been named, however, none have the strong agriculture portfolio that provides the needed insight on CFTC which greatly impact U.S. commodity markets.

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