Kenneth Raisler announced his retirement as a longtime Sullivan & Cromwell partner and head of the Commodities, Futures and Derivatives Group at the end of 2020. Many know Raisler as a preeminent expert on derivatives, but he began his legal career in 1976 as a law clerk for Judge Lee P. Gagliardi in the Southern District of New York before becoming an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.
In 1982, he joined the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as deputy general counsel and was named general counsel a year later, at the age of 31. His term coincided with a period of sweeping innovation in the financial markets. and Raisler played a key role in decisions that allowed swaps and other derivative products to flourish.
After joining Sullivan & Cromwell in 1992, Raisler established himself as one of the most sought-after experts on complex financial products. He headed the firm’s Commodities, Futures and Derivatives Group, representing clients on a wide range of regulatory and enforcement matters. He also served as chairman of the New York City Bar Committee on Futures Regulation from 1988 to 1991 and as chairman of the ABA Derivatives and Futures Law Committee from 2015-2017. Since 1992, he has been a member of FIA's board of directors.
- Hall of Fame