J. Christopher “Chris” Giancarlo is senior counsel and serves as Co-Chair of the Willkie Digital Works practice. He is based in the firm’s New York office. Chris served as the thirteenth Chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), where he oversaw regulation of the futures, options and swaps derivatives markets. Chris was also a successful entrepreneur helping GFI Group Inc. grow into a leading trading platform and technology vendor to global markets for OTC swaps and other derivatives and managing GFI’s successful private equity financing and IPO.
Prior to joining Willkie in 2019, Chris served as Chairman and Chief Executive of the CFTC from August 2017 – July 2019. He was first nominated as a CFTC Commissioner by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed in June 2014. He was subsequently nominated as CFTC Chairman by President Donald Trump and again unanimously confirmed in August 2017. He departed the CFTC in July 2019 following the expiration of his five-year term. As CFTC Chairman, Chris served as a member of the Financial Stability Oversight Committee (FSOC), the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets, and the Executive Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and participated in meetings of the Financial Stability Board (FSB).
Prior to entering public service, Chris served as the Executive Vice President of financial services firm GFI Group Inc., where he led GFI’s transformation from privately held partnership to an initial public offering and many corporate acquisitions. He also previously served as Executive Vice President and U.S. Legal Counsel of Fenics Software.
Chris was also a corporate partner in the New York law firm of Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner, a founding partner at Giancarlo & Gleiberman, and an associate in the London office of Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle.
Chris serves as a board member of the American Financial Exchange (AFX), the sponsor of Ameribor and Ameribor Futures, and a member of the advisory board to The Chamber of Digital Commerce, a trade group focused on U.S. blockchain and crypto policy. He also serves as an independent director of Nomura Holdings, the parent company of Nomura Securities, a global financial services business headquartered in Japan.
He is a founder and director of The Digital Dollar Project, launched in January 2020, a multi-stakeholder initiative to advance exploration of a United States Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).
He is a founding board member and former Chairman of the Wholesale Markets Brokers Association (Americas). He was also a member of the Leadership Board of the Center for Capital Markets Competitiveness of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
He was a founding Co-Editor-in-Chief of eSecurities, Trading and Regulation on the Internet (Leader Publications).
Additionally, he is an advisor to the Cypher Accelerator at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Stevens Center for Innovative Finance.