Chicago-based Allston Holdings LLC, parent of one of the nation's leading proprietary electronic trading firms, today announced the appointment of Jill E. Sommers, former Commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), to its Board of Managers. Sommers stepped down from the U.S. derivatives regulatory agency last year.
Allston CEO Raj Mahajan said: "We're delighted to bring Commissioner Sommers on board to help guide our strategy and navigate the evolving regulatory landscape. She has earned tremendous respect in the industry and in government for her strong leadership skills, particularly overseeing the MF Global investigation while at the CFTC. Her extraordinary working knowledge of both exchange-traded and over-the-counter derivatives markets and her appreciation for the regulations that govern them will be valuable assets to our Board."
Sommers said: "I'm thrilled to join the Allston Board. I've been impressed with Raj and the team at Allston, who unquestionably want to ensure that the firm follows and leads best industry practices. I look forward to this new opportunity to understand the relevant market issues from the perspective of a leading proprietary trading participant."
Sommers served as Commissioner of the CFTC from August 2007 until July 2013, having been nominated by both President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama and confirmed twice by the United States Senate. At the CFTC, Sommers served as Chairman and Designated Federal Official of the Commission's Global Markets Advisory Committee (GMAC) and served as the CFTC's senior member overseeing the investigation into MF Global.
Prior to her appointment at the CFTC, Sommers was the Policy Director and Head of Government Affairs for the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, where she worked on a broad range of OTC derivatives issues. Previously, she worked in the Government Affairs Office of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME). Sommers began her career in 1991 as a Washington-based intern for U.S. Senator Robert J. Dole (R-KS). She later served as a legislative aide for two consulting firms specializing in agricultural issues, Clark & Muldoon, P.C. and Taggart and Associates.
A native of Fort Scott, Kansas, Sommers earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Univiversity of Kansas. She and her family reside in the Washington area.