The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced Monday that it was making several changes to senior leadership spots at the agency in the wake of a key defection.Kelly Thompson Cochran will now serve as the acting assistant director for regulations at the agency, following the departure last week of Leonard Chanin (see subhead below), who left that position to return to Morrison & Foerster.
Cochran previously served as the deputy assistant director for regulations, and will now oversee all of the CFPB's rulewriting related to Dodd-Frank, including several mortgage-related regulations. Cochran previously worked for the Treasury Department on consumer protection issues.
The CFPB also hired Chris Lipsett as senior counsel in the office of the agency's director, Richard Cordray. Lipsett was a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Door, where he focused on regulatory and compliance issues.
Additionally, the agency promoted Stephen Van Meter to deputy general counsel. Van Meter was previously with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, where he served for 14 years, before joining the CFPB last year as assistant general counsel for policy.
Lastly, the CFPB said it hired Delicia Reynolds Hand as the new staff director for the Consumer Advisory Board and Councils. In that role, Reynolds Hand will oversee the agency's Consumer Advisory Board, Community Bank Advisory Board and Credit Union Advisory Board. Prior to joining the CFPB, Reynolds Hand was legislative director for the National Association of Consumer Advocates.
Chanin Goes Back to MoFo
MoFo announced on Wednesday that it was rehiring Leonard Chanin, a former firm attorney who most recently spent a year and a half heading up the 40 attorneys in the CFPB's rulemaking operation. He was originally tapped for the CFPB by Elizabeth Warren.
Chanin won't start until September, a media representative of MoFo said. The attorney could not be reached for an interview.
“He's going to be a hard person to replace,” said Alan Kaplinsky, an attorney for Ballard Spahr who knows Chanin from his current job and his previous work overseeing financial protection regulations as a deputy director of the Federal Reserve Board. “There was a level of comfort the banking industry had with Leonard, because they dealt with him for many years during his tenure at the Fed… I think this would be a setback for the CFPB because they're right in the midst of an avalanche of mortgage lending regulations.”
In an emailed statement on Wednesday, CFPB Director Richard Cordray thanked Chanin and wished him well.
“During his time at the Bureau, Leonard built an effective rule-writing team that has developed proposals to implement key consumer financial protections that will benefit all Americans,” Cordray said. “Although we will miss Leonard, he leaves a strong and experienced team that will continue to move forward with this important work.”
In MoFo's announcement, the firm said that it was thrilled to have him.
“Leonard will return to us with important insights and broad experience on consumer regulation, having been at the center of regulatory developments in a time of great change,” said Rick Fischer, co-head of MoFo's financial services practice.
Chanin is the second prominent CFPB official to depart in recent months. He follows Deepak Gupta, the CFPB's former senior enforcement counsel, who left to start a consumer advocacy law firm.