Another local resident is headed for Washington, D.C. to join the Obama administration’s finance team. Larchmonter Adam Glass, formerly an attorney at Linklaters LLP, will become part of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s new division of Risk, Strategy and Financial Innovation.
The group is charged, among other things, with bolstering the SEC’s expertise on over-the-counter derivative contracts and other new financial products whose unregulated growth and recent collapse have been blamed, by some, for contributing to last year’s economic crisis and the resulting “Great Recession.”
Shortly after his election, President Obama selected Mamaroneck Town resident Tim Geithner to be secretary of the Treasury Department. In May, Jim Millstein left his position at Lazard Frères and his seat on the Larchmont Village Board to help the Treasury Department retrieve some of the $700 billion loaned through the TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) to head off financial meltdown in 2008.
Now Mr. Glass is going to the SEC to use his knowledge of derivatives and structured finance products. That’s what he’s been doing in private practice, in one form or another, since 1985. At Linklaters, he represented banks, investment banks, monoline insurance companies, and hedge funds. He has an economics degree from Harvard and a J.D. from Stanford.
Asked to describe what he’s been doing as an attorney, he explained: “I worked on every structured product and derivative you never heard of until they all blew up – that’s part of the knowledge they’re hiring me for.”
Based on draft legislation, “It’s quite likely that the SEC will be given responsibility for regulating ‘swap agreements’ – also known as “over the counter derivatives’ that relate to stocks and bonds,” he said. “In preparing for this, the commission is increasing its in house expertise.” Mr. Glass is one of several new hires with legal and market knowledge in this area.
Mr. Glass has already rented an apartment not far from the SEC office. An avid bike rider and advocate for bike lanes in Larchmont Village, he has been scoping out potential bike routes to work.
Friends have told him, “You’ll be making history down there.” He responds: “I don’t know about making history, but I’ll certainly be watching history being made.”