(October 30, 2019, Washington, DC) — Steptoe & Johnson LLP is pleased to announce that Matthew Kulkin, the former director of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) since 2017, will join the firm as a partner and co-chair of the Financial Services Group on November 4. Kulkin, who had previously been a Steptoe partner for two years before joining the CFTC, will be based in Washington and will also work with colleagues in the firm's Chicago and New York offices.
"Matt distinguished himself on many fronts during his service as a CFTC division director and we are delighted to welcome him back," said Steptoe Chair Phil West. "His strategic leadership and insights in the derivatives industry will enhance and further deepen the services we offer clients in the financial markets and fintech industries."
At the CFTC, Kulkin was responsible for a number of significant capital markets initiatives, including those related to futures, swaps, cryptocurrencies, and blockchain technology. He oversaw policy-making and advised on enforcement matters related to swap dealers, futures commission merchants, commodity pool operators, commodity trading advisors, and the National Futures Association. His portfolio also included the Volcker Rule, substituted compliance determinations with non-US jurisdictions, planning for a no-deal Brexit, proprietary trading firms, and uncleared margin implementation.
In a press release announcing Kulkin's departure from the CFTC, Chairman Christopher Giancarlo stated: "Matt's leadership has been instrumental in a number of the advancements we have made during my chairmanship. 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."
In a joint statement, Micah Green and Stacie Hartman, who co-chair the Financial Services Group and this month were named "Finance, Banking & Capital Markets Trailblazers" by The National Law Journal, commented: "We're thrilled to welcome our friend and former colleague back to Steptoe. In his senior role at the CFTC, Matt gained significant experience working with numerous market participants. At Steptoe, he will serve as a welcome resource to address CFTC, financial services, and strategic public policy advisory issues."
Kulkin added: "I'm excited to return to Steptoe and help financial services clients navigate legislative, regulatory, compliance, and enforcement issues. Micah and Stacie have assembled a great team and I look forward to working with them. I thank Chairman Giancarlo for the opportunity to serve at the CFTC during such an important time for global derivatives and capital markets."
Steptoe's multidisciplinary Financial Services practice provides a comprehensive approach for addressing the interplay of legislative, regulatory, compliance, investigations, and enforcement challenges created by the implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act and other financial regulations. The Steptoe team includes former regulators, former senior legislative and regulatory staff, skilled legislative advocates, financial industry thought leaders, and seasoned litigators with decades of experience working in and with the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government.
Kulkin earned his J.D. from George Washington University, where he was a Thurgood Marshall Scholar, and his B.A. from Tufts University.
In more than 100 years of practice, Steptoe has earned an international reputation for vigorous representation of clients before governmental agencies, successful advocacy in litigation and arbitration, and creative and practical advice in structuring business transactions. Steptoe has more than 500 lawyers and other professional staff across offices in Beijing, Brussels, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington. For more information, visit www.steptoe.com.