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Division of Trading And Markets Acting Director John Ramsay to Leave SEC


Washington D.C., Feb. 20, 2014 —

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that John Ramsay, acting director of the Division of Trading and Markets, will leave the agency next month after three and a half years of leadership and service. Mr. Ramsay, who was appointed deputy director of the division in September 2010 and has served as acting director since December 2012, plans to return to the private sector. The SEC separately today named Stephen Luparello as the division’s director.

Mr. Ramsay has led numerous significant rulemaking initiatives, including the adoption of the Volcker Rule and rules to implement the derivatives reform provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  He also has led the division’s response to significant market events, its participation in global regulatory initiatives, and its development and implementation of analytical tools for market oversight.

“John has provided exceptionally effective leadership during one of the most dynamic periods in the division’s history,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.  “He has served as a trusted advisor as the Commission navigated through complex rulemakings and significant market events.  I will miss his sound judgment and the wise counsel he brings to bear daily on behalf of investors and our markets.” 

Mr. Ramsay said, “I am privileged to have worked with a first-rate team of colleagues in Trading and Markets and throughout the agency during this period of unprecedented activity and change in the regulation of financial markets.  I am immensely grateful to the staff of the division for their friendship and unfailing support.  I am also pleased that my friend Steve Luparello has agreed to lead the division going forward, and I know that he will be a great steward as the division confronts the many challenges that lie ahead.”

Mr. Ramsay has led the division’s efforts on rulemaking initiatives under the Dodd-Frank Act, including the Volcker rule to prohibit proprietary trading by banks.  In the area of derivatives reform, he oversaw the development of proposed comprehensive rules for the cross-border regulatory treatment of derivatives transactions, as well as rules for security-based swap data repositories and execution facilities, trade reporting and dissemination, capital, margin, and customer segregation requirements for security-based swap dealers, and clearing requirements.

Among other accomplishments, Mr. Ramsay:

  • Oversaw staff efforts leading to the designation by the Financial Stability Oversight Council of certain systemically important clearing agencies and the Commission’s adoption of new clearing agency governance, operation, and risk management standards
  • Led staff development of proposed rules to strengthen governance and internal controls of registered credit rating agencies and require greater disclosure about individual ratings and rating performance.  The Commission also adopted measures under Mr. Ramsay’s leadership to remove reliance on ratings from Commission rules pertaining to broker-dealer financial responsibility.
  • Led the proposal of Regulation SCI, which would establish heightened technology controls for exchanges and other key market participants.  Mr. Ramsay also oversaw implementation of “limit up/limit down” volatility limits by national securities exchanges and the further development of a national market system plan for a consolidated audit trail for the equity markets. 
  • Led the establishment of an Office of Analytics and Research, which has implemented new technology tools to aggregate and analyze consolidated order and transaction data and has established a new market structure website that publicly disseminates information drawn from this data, as well as studies and other information pertinent to equity market reform.

Also during Mr. Ramsay’s service as acting director, the Commission adopted measures to update and strengthen broker-dealer financial responsibility rules and new audit, reporting, and custody rules for registered broker-dealers. He also led the development of proposed rule amendments to strengthen the capital and liquidity requirements that apply to the largest, systemically important broker-dealers.  In addition, the division restructured in a single office the functions related to risk oversight of broker-dealers. 

Mr. Ramsay has played a leading role in the Commission’s response to significant market events, including the U.S. debt downgrade and the failure of MF Global in 2011, the losses suffered by Knight Capital Group in 2012, and an outage affecting the Nasdaq securities information processor in August of 2013.  Following the Nasdaq outage, he led staff efforts to oversee actions by exchanges to strengthen critical market infrastructure.

Mr. Ramsay has also played a leading role in important international and interagency initiatives. These include the OTC Derivatives Regulators Group and the BIS-IOSCO Working Group on Margining Requirements.  He also has participated actively on a working group of the Financial Stability Oversight Council considering the potential designation of certain non-bank financial entities.

Mr. Ramsay previously worked for the Commission from 1989-1994 in the Division of Market Regulation and as Counsel to then Acting Chairman Mary Schapiro, and has also held key positions at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the National Association of Securities Dealers, now FINRA.  He has also worked as a partner in private law practice, as a senior officer at the Bond Market Association, and as Managing Director and Deputy General Counsel at Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.  He received his J.D. from the University of Michigan, and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.


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