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May 3, 2021

Executive Compensation at the National Futures Association

by Anne Paddock

In 1974, Congress established the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as an independent agency of the federal government to regulate the US derivatives market, which includes futures, swaps, and certain types of options. The National Futures Association (NFA) is a tax-exempt, non-profit 501 (c) 6 business association that is a self-regulatory organization for the US derivatives market.  Sounds almost the same so what’s the difference? Both organizations are working to ensure legal standards are being adhered to but the NFA is only concerned with members of the NFA while operating under the authority of the CFTC.

The NFA has a governing body with 29 members, all of whom are independent.  31 board members are listed on the Form 990 (2018 for the year ending June 30, 2019), of which 25 (81%) are male while 6 (19%) are female.  Unlike most boards, members of the NFA governing body were compensated $0 – $47,000 a year.

In 2019, the NFA reported total revenue of $115 million (compared to $96 million in 2018), which came from assessment fees and market service revenue, and membership dues.  Expenses totaled $94 million, of which $75 million was compensation for the 592 employees, who received an average compensation of $127,000. However, only 223 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation. The 15 most highly compensated employees were reported to be:

  • $806,702:  Thomas Sexton, President and CEO
  • $692,958:  Daniel Driscoll, VP and COO
  • $628,532:  Regina Thoele, SVP
  • $595,235:  Jamila Piracci, VP
  • $584,468:  Edward Dasso, VP
  • $521,080:  David Hawrysz, SVP, CFO, and Treasurer
  • $481,818:  Timothy McHenry, VP
  • $481,726:  Karen Wuertz, SVP
  • $474,404:  Carol Wooding, VP, GC, and Secretary
  • $379,477:  Joseph Hawrysz, Managing Director, Compliance
  • $358,354:  Joseph Zangri, Managing Director, Exams, OTC
  • $348,109:  Michael Crowley, Associate General Counsel
  • $343,633:  Thomas Gisonda, Managing Director, OTC Derivatives
  • $340,932:  Dale Spoljaric, Managing Director, Compliance
  • $277,396:  Yvette Christman, VP

The 15 most highly compensated employees received $7.3 million in compensation.  10 of the 15 (67%) most highly compensated employees are male while 5 of the 15 (33%) are female.

NFA pays for business class travel for all officers.

Health or social club dues or initiation fees were paid by NFA. Specifically, health club dues were provided to Carol Wooding, Daniel Driscoll, Regina Thoele, Karen Wuertz, Timothy McHenry, David Hawrysz, Edward Dasso, Jamila Piracci, and Thomas Sexton in the amount of $13,246.

David Hawrysz and Joseph Hawrysz appear to be related.

14 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation.  The five most highly compensated independent contractors were reported to be:

  • $1,011,881:  CDW Direct, of Vernon Hills, IL for computer support
  • $  726,523:  Jenner Block, of Chicago, IL for legal consulting
  • $  461,463:  Microsoft Licensing, of Redmond, WA for software support
  • $  313,255:  Polaris Solutions, of St Louis, MO for software support
  • $  304,050:  Redlegg, of St Charles, IL for IT security

To read the IRS Form 990 (2018 for the year ending June 30, 2019), click here.

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