Heath Tarbert Joins Circle as Chief Legal Officer and Head of Corporate Affairs

In an exciting development for the global fintech industry, Circle Internet Financial has appointed Heath Tarbert as its new chief legal officer and head of corporate affairs, effective from July 1, 2023. Tarbert’s appointment is a significant move for Circle, which has been actively pursuing a strategy of global growth.

Tarbert steps into the shoes of Flavia Naves, Circle’s outgoing general counsel, who had announced her plans to leave the company earlier this year. Naves is known for successfully overseeing the company’s expansion and fundraising efforts, as well as establishing a world-class legal organization.

Before accepting the role at Circle, Tarbert held a significant position as the chief legal officer at Citadel Securities. His impressive career spans leadership roles across all three branches of the federal government and several key regulatory bodies. His experience includes serving as the 14th chairman and chief executive of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), vice chairman of the International Organization of Securities Commissions, and assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury for international markets.

The decision to bring Tarbert onboard underscores Circle’s commitment to integrating traditional finance with Web3, the decentralized web powered by blockchain technology. Circle’s co-founder and CEO, Jeremy Allaire, lauded Tarbert’s appointment, emphasizing that his vast legal expertise and global regulatory experience would be invaluable as the company seeks to enhance the utility value of its stablecoin, USDC, on a global scale.

On his part, Tarbert expressed his excitement to join Circle and contribute to its mission of evolving the global financial system. He stressed the need for sound regulatory rules that provide clarity and protection for individuals and businesses dealing with digital assets.

Circle Internet Financial is a global fintech firm offering businesses the ability to leverage digital currencies and public blockchains for various financial applications. It is well-known as the issuer of USDC and Euro Coin, trusted and interoperable money protocols used across the internet.


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Chris Brummer Said to Be Biden’s CFTC Chair, Crypto-Friendly Tarbert Steps Down

Chris Brummer, a Georgetown University law professor who runs the annual D.C. Fintech Week conference, may be the next chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), according to Reuters.

The news service reported Thursday that Brummer is President Joe Biden’s leading candidate to head up the federal commodities regulator.

Brummer was previously nominated to the CFTC as a commissioner in 2016 by former President Barack Obama, but his nomination expired before the Senate scheduled a confirmation hearing. Former President Donald Trump did not renominate him to the federal commodities regulator after he took office in 2017. 

Now-former Chairman Heath Tarbert, who took office in 2019, announced his resignation from the role Thursday, after announcing last year that he would resign early in 2021. However, Tarbert will remain a commissioner on the CFTC, a CFTC press release said. His term expires in 2024. 

If he is nominated and confirmed, Brummer would join former CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler, who is Biden’s nominee to chair the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and former U.S. Treasury official Michael Barr, Biden’s rumored nominee for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, as one of the key regulators for the  cryptocurrency industry.

Brummer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On the securities regulator side, Commissioner Allison Herren Lee has been named Acting Chair of the SEC. She first took office in 2019, and is likely to serve in the acting chair role until Gensler is confirmed by the Senate. 



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CFTC Chairman Heath Tarbert Announces He Will Step Down Early Next Year

Heath P. Tarbert, the chairman of the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has announced that he intends to reassign early next year. Although his term expires in 2024, Tarbert will step down from his leadership role as President-elect Joe Biden prepares to enter the White House on January 20.

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With the transition to Joe Biden administration being prepared, other key regulators including Bill Hinman, CFTC’s Director of Division of Corporation Finance, and Jay Clayton, Securities Exchange Commission chairman, have announced the departures.  

Tarbert’s exit means that Biden would have to appoint a new chairperson of the CFTC. Tarbert began serving as the chairman of the agency in July 2019. Based on his resignation announcement, he said that that it has been a great honor to serve the people of America as the 14th chairman of the CFTC and as one of the agency’s five commissioners. He is proud of the agency’s achievements in its pursuits to be the global standard for sound derivative regulation. 

During his tenure, Tarbert strengthened cryptocurrency regulations, promoted responsible fintech innovation, and declared Ether as a commodity. He worked with fellow CFTC commissioners to enabled vigorous protection of the integrity of the markets and set several enforcement records. They have successfully concluded negotiations with the UK and EU to develop stronger relationships with the agency’s regulatory counterparts overseas.

Tarbert mentioned that they have improved the agency’s diversity, with more people of color and women serving in senior leadership positions than ever before. Furthermore, they have achieved all that with the interest of everyday Americans in mind, including the nation’s ranchers and farmers who rely on derivatives to hedge their risk.

Tarbert further said that most of the agency’s work has occurred in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic which is testing the strength of its markets and its ability to adapt. Amid historic volatility, the CFTC has offered a watchful eye and steady hand while its markets act as shock absorbers.

He said that such accomplishments would have not been possible without the hard work of the CFTC’s dedicated career public servants and the executive leadership team of the agency. He expressed his gratitude to the US President and his administration for their confidence and the opportunity to serve.

Image source: Shutterstock


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