Ethic Inc. (“Ethic”), the tech-driven asset management platform that powers personalization for advisors, today announced the addition of former Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Chair Timothy Massad as a strategic advisor. In this capacity, Mr. Massad will draw from his deep understanding of financial markets and the regulatory landscape—including the rapidly evolving role of environmental, social and governance (ESG) disclosures, and the accelerating pace of innovation in financial services—to offer strategic guidance that supports Ethic’s rapid growth trajectory.
Massad led the CFTC, the independent government agency tasked with regulatory oversight of the derivatives markets, from 2014 to 2017. In that capacity, he played an instrumental role in implementing vital swaps market regulation required by the Dodd-Frank Act, promoting clearinghouse resilience and recovery, expanding consumer protection provisions, and modernizing regulatory frameworks to reflect the growing role of technology in financial markets. He also placed a strong emphasis on fostering coordination with international regulatory bodies and on bipartisan action at the Commission itself. Over 95 percent of the more than 600 votes taken during his tenure were unanimous.
Before being appointed to head the CFTC, Massad served as Assistant Secretary for Financial Stability at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In this position, he oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which helped to stabilize the U.S. economy in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and extend much-needed assistance to distressed homeowners. Massad was responsible for the day-to-day management and recovery of TARP funds, and under his watch, the Treasury recovered more on crisis investments than was disbursed. He also served as Chief Counsel for the program prior to assuming the role of Assistant Secretary.
“We’re delighted to welcome Tim to the Ethic family,” said Doug Scott, CEO of Ethic. “His expertise is highly complementary to the work we do at Ethic, especially given his first-hand perspective as to how social and governance issues can materially impact companies’ performance and the stability of the broader financial system. Tim shares our view that the capital markets can be used as a force for good, and we’re looking forward to partnering with him as we advance our mission of accelerating the transition to sustainable investing.”
Mr. Massad added: “I am excited to be working with the talented team at Ethic. They have designed a platform that can deliver what a growing number of investors want: personalized investment strategies that align financial objectives with personal values. With Ethic, customized portfolios are no longer available only to large institutions. And as more and more investors recognize the importance of sustainability to long-run value creation, Ethic can help them put that vision into action.”
Prior to his government service, Massad was a partner in the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP, focusing on corporate finance and financial markets. He also maintained an active pro bono practice, representing organizations such as UNICEF and Covenant House, for many years. He earned his bachelor’s and law degrees from Harvard University, and has more recently served as a senior fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center. He writes regularly for publications such as Bloomberg on a variety of regulatory issues, recently opining on the need for SEC-mandated disclosures that communicate companies’ exposure to financially material ESG risks.
Massad joins Ethic amid a period of rapid growth for the company, propelled in large part by a growing demand from the wealth management community for personalized and sustainable investment solutions. Ethic recently announced a $29 million Series B round, which was led by Oak HC/FT and joined by existing investors Fidelity Investments, Sound Ventures, Nyca Partners, and others.