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Dennis M. Kelleher

Mr. Kelleher is Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets. Mr. Kelleher co-founded Better Markets, along with Chair Mike Masters, after many years of experience in the public, private, political, charitable and non-profit sectors.

At Better Markets, Mr. Kelleher’s leadership requires operating in the legislative, executive and judicial branches simultaneously while developing and driving communications strategies to support those policy efforts. He has been quoted more than 3,000 times, done more than 140 live TV appearances, participated in more than 225 rulemakings and 25 legal cases, and testified more than 10 times.

Mr. Kelleher served as a member of the Biden-Harris Transition team and, from September 2020 through January 2021, was on the Federal Reserve, Banking and Securities Agency Review Team and worked with the Treasury Department and Department of Justice teams.

In March 2021, Washingtonian Magazine named him as one of “Washington’s most influential people” in banking and finance, saying he was one of the “experts and advocates outside of government who’ll be shaping the policy debates for years to come.”

Less than two years after Better Markets was founded, the New York Times profiled Mr. Kelleher in “Facing Down the Bankers,” referring to him as “one of the most powerful lobbyists on financial reform.” He has also been featured in the award-winning Frontline documentary “Money, Power and Wall Street,” on PBS’s “Braking the Banks,” and in Steven Brill’s best-selling book “Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America’s Fifty-Year Fall—and Those Fighting to Reverse It.”

Mr. Kelleher is an internationally sought expert on financial reform, financial markets, economics, regulation, legal issues, and their intersection with political matters. In addition to testifying in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, he speaks frequently in the U.S. and Europe on these matters at conferences, seminars and symposiums as well as on all media platforms.

From 20-second soundbites to hour-long discussions, he appears on the network news shows and is a regular guest on Bloomberg TV, CNBC, NPR, MSNBC, PBS, BBC, C-SPAN and Fox Business News. In addition, he is often quoted in the New York Times, The Financial Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Politico, The Hill, Die Zeit, Le Monde, The Guardian, and many other domestic and international print and online publications.

Prior to Better Markets, Mr. Kelleher worked for almost eight years in senior staff positions in the United States Senate, including as General Counsel and Deputy Staff Director on the Labor and Human Resources Committee (now known as the HELP Committee) and as Legislative Director and Leadership Advisor to a senior Senator who was also Secretary to the Democratic Caucus. He concluded his service in the Senate as Chief Counsel and Senior Leadership Advisor to the Chairman of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, a member of Senate leadership.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Kelleher was a partner with the international law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, where he had an extensive and broad-ranging U.S. and European practice specializing in crisis management and complex corporate matters that focused on governance, securities and financial markets.

Mr. Kelleher served four years of active duty enlisted service in the Air Force as a crash/rescue firefighter/medic, which preceded his graduation with highest honors from Brandeis University and with honors from Harvard Law School.

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Highlighted Recent Activity

  1. OP-ED: A policy agenda for Wall Street’s new sheriff” (Financial Times)
  2. Named Most Influential: “Washington’s Most Influential: The 250 Experts and Advocates—Outside the Government—Who’ll Be Shaping the Policy Debates of the Years to Come (Washingtonian, March 2021)

Selected Recent Media

  1. Analysis: How murky legal rules allow Tesla’s Musk to keep moving markets” Katanga Johnson and Chris Prentice (Reuters)
  2. The GameStop hearings — and what comes next” Chris Brummer and Evan Campbell (FinTech Beat)
  3. Wall Street Bonuses at Risk Amid New Clamor to Finish Dodd-Frank” Daniel Avis and Jesse Hamilton (Bloomberg)
  4. Robinhood Promises Free Trades. Did Alex Kearns Pay With His Life?” Hannah Levintova (Mother Jones)
  5. SEC Enforcement Chief Alex Oh Resigns Days After Taking Job” Benjamin Bain and Matt Robinson (Bloomberg)
  6. U.S. SEC enforcement head resigns after five days on the job” Katanga Johnson and Chris Prentice (Reuters)
  7. A $6 Trillion Family Office World Fights Post-Archegos Crackdown” Joe Light and Benjamin Stupples (Bloomberg)
  8. Gensler confirmed as top Wall Street cop, bringing new era of tough scrutiny” Kellie Mejdrich (Politico Pro)
  9. Analysis: U.S. money market funds, advocates, stake out positions as crackdown looms” Michelle Price and Pete Schroeder (Reuters)
  10. Archegos Left a Sparse Paper Trail for a $10 Billion Firm” Matthew Goldstein (The New York Times)
  11. US put off derivatives rules for a decade before Archegos blew up” Joe Rennison, Eric Platt, Colby Smith and Philip Stafford (Financial Times)

Selected Profiles

  1. Welling on Wall Street Listening in–Better Markets
  2. The New York Times: “Facing Down the Bankers”​
  3. Washington Post: “Preventing the next financial blowout: A conversation with Dennis Kelleher
  4. CQ: “Kelleher: Dodd-Frank Defender
  5. Wealth Management: “The Watchdog
  6. Bill Moyers: “The Swamp Fighters: Dennis Kelleher on CFPB, Dodd-Frank and the Trump Era
  7. INET: Wall Street is Better at Gambling than Finance”
  8. Inside Philanthropy: Up Against Wall Street: How This Little-Known Hedge Funder Backs Financial Reform

Selected TV Appearances

  1. BNN Bloomberg No one knows how many Archegos’ there are in the financial markets
  2. NBCLA “Is Investing in the Stock Market During the Pandemic a Good Idea?
  3. MSNBC “Trump slump: Market tumble stokes debate over Dems’ best economic attack on Trump 2020
  4. Politico Pro Panel: “10th Anniversary of the Financial Crisis
  5. Bloomberg: “NY Fed President Selection
  6. CSPAN: “Senate Vote to Repeal CFPB Mandatory Arbitration Rule
  7. MSNBC: “Trump and Wall Street
  8. Bloomberg: “Bank Supervisory Procedures
  9. CNBC: “Why the Public distrusts Wall Street
  10. MSNBC: “Discussing Wells Fargo


  1. The CON: The Truth Behind the Largest Criminal Consipiracy in American History
  2. PBS Need to Know: “Braking the Banks”​
  3. PBS Frontline: “Money, Power and Wall Street

Selected Op-Eds

  1. The Hill: Putting the SEC cops back on the Wall Street beat
  2. Financial Times: “A policy agenda for Wall Street’s new sheriff
  3. Law360: It’s Time to Ramp Up Punishment for Wall Street Wrongdoers
  4. CNN: “The US government needs to save Main Street, not just Wall Street
  5. The Hill: “The US needs a coronavirus rescue Plan B — fast
  6. Morning Consultant: “7 Steps Congress Must Take to Stop the Coronavirus Economic, Financial Collapse
  7. Market Watch: “The $1 trillion plan to save the economy when the coronavirus forces everyone to quarantine
  8. The Hill: “It’s time for presidential candidates to talk about jobs, the real economy and Wall Street
  9. American Banker: Don’t mess with rules curbing derivatives risk
  10. American Banker: “Deutsche Bank shows it learned nothing from the 2008 crisis
  11. The Hill: “New SEC rule aids and abets Wall Street predators
  12. The Hill: “Keep Industry Insiders Out of the Payday Loan Rulemaking Process
  13. American Prospect: “Trump’s Assault on Financial Reform
  14. The Hill: “CFPB is looking out for financial predators instead of Main Street
  15. The Hill: “Dem House can put Main Street’s needs over Wall Street’s wants
  16. American Banker: “Trump reopening Wall Street casino by weakening Volcker Rule”
  17. The Hill: If You Care About Your Wallet, You Should Fear Judge Kavanaugh”
  18. American Banker: “‘Too big to fail’ is alive and kicking
  19. Los Angeles Times: “Why Every American Should Want a Strong CFPB”​

Selected Speeches and Presentations

  1. Too-Big-To-Fail Problem is Alive, Well and Getting Worse“, Presentation to the Financial Stability Board workshop at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  2. Stress Tests as a Policy Tool“, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Stress Testing Conference
  3. The State of Financial Reform: A View from the United States“, Financial Risk and Stability Conference (Berlin, Germany)
  4. Financial Reform Is Working, But Deregulation That Incentivizes One-Way Bets Is Sowing the Seeds of Another Catastrophic Financial Crash”, Institute for New Economic Thinking
  5. “Ten Years After the Financial Crisis: Closing Loopholes, Avoiding Blindspots and Finding Economic Justics”Georgetown Law School
  6. Deregulation Unleashes Wall Street to Prey on Investors, Consumers and All Hard-Working Americans”, Global Shareholder Activism Conference
  7. Moving America Forward: Education, Jobs, and the Economy”, Democratic National Convention Platform Drafting Committee
  8. Fifth Anniversary of Dodd-Frank Financial Regulatory Law”, Cost of the 2008 Financial Crisis

Selected Testimony

  1. House Finanacial Services Committee: “Game Stopped? Who Wins and Loses When Short Sellers, Social Media, and Retail Investors Collide, Part II
  2. Senate Agriculture Committee: “The State of the Derivatives Market and Perspectives for CFTC Reauthorization
  3. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee: “FSOC Accountability” Nonbank Designations
  4. Senate Agriculture Committee: “Reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  5. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee: “Restricting Access to Financial Advice: Evaluating the Costs and Consequences for Working Families
  6. House Financial Services Committee: “Examining the Impact of the Volcker Rule on Markets, Businesses, Investors and Job Creation

Selected Comment Letters

  1. Debt Collection Practices (Regulation F); Delay of Effective Date (CFPB)
  2. Improving Investment Advice for Workers and Retirees (DOL)
  3. Parent Companies of Industrial Banks and Industrial Loan Companies (FDIC)
  4. National Banks and Federal Savings Associations as Lenders (OCC)
  5. Institutional Investor Reporting Requirments (SEC)
  6. Post-Trade Name Give-Up (CFTC)
  7. Qualified Mortgage Definition (CFPB)

Selected Briefs

  1. New England Teamsters v. Sun Trust
  2. Interactive Brokers LLC v. Rohit Saroop
  3. Liu v. SEC
  4. XY Planning v. SEC
  5. SEC v. JP Morgan Case
  6. MetLife v FSOC

Selected Reports

  1. Road to Recovery: Protecting Main Street From President Trump’s Dangerous Deregulation of Wall Street
  2. President Obama in His Own Words: Making Financial Reform a Reality 2009-2016
  3. Ten Years of Dodd-Frank & Financial Reform: Obama’s Successes, Trump’s Rollbacks & Future Challenges
  4. An Update on Supreme Court Cases Involving the Financial and Economic Security and Prosperity of the American People
  5. Goldman Sachs’ Twenty-Year RAP Sheet of Repeated Illegal Conduct
  6. Cost of the Crisis: $20 Trillion and Counting
  7. Judge Kavanaugh: Good for Corporations, Bad for Your Wallet
  8. Wall Street’s Six Biggest Bailed-Out Banks: Their RAP Sheets & Their Ongoing Crime Spree
  9. Goldman Sachs’ 1MDB “Four Monkeys” Defense and CEO Solomon’s Golden Opportunity
  10. Eugene Scalia has been Wall Street’s Best Friend and a One-man Financial Stability Wrecking Crew
  11. An Update on Supreme Court Cases Involving the Financial and Economic Security and Prosperity of the American People
  12. Annual Report
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