Former CFTC Commissioner Chilton to Advise HFT Lobbying Firm

Bart Chilton, CFTC

Bart Chilton, one of the commission's most vocal opponents of high-frequency trading (HFT) during his time with the regulator, will now serve as an advisor to Modern Markets Initiative (MMI), a group which advocates on behalf of and is backed by a quartet of HFT firms.

Chilton, who joined the CFTC in 2007 and left this March, is currently on staff at law and lobbying firm DLA Piper, which was tapped last week by MMI. The industry group's members include Global Trading Systems, Hudson River Trading, Quantlab Financial, and Tower Research Capital, which recently bought the high-speed interest rates trading arm of Credit Suisse.

The move comes as MMI announced the hire of a new chief executive last week, bringing sell-side veteran Bill Harts on board.

“The role and benefits of high frequency trading are misunderstood by many,” said Chilton in a statement. “Through education, transparency and the right type of constructive regulation, HFT’s role will be accepted and endorsed as essential to today’s modern markets.”

Chilton is the third former commissioner to join an industry group in recent months; Scott O'Malia took the helm at International Securities Derivatives Association (ISDA) shortly after his departure from government, while Jill Sommers joined prop-trading shop Allston Holdings.

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