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Dennis Kelleher


“Thank you, Better Markets.”
- former President of the United States Barack Obama
“Dennis Kelleher and his team at Better Markets have consistently pushed for financial reform that will help protect the U.S. economy from another financial crash. They are strong partners in the fight to level the playing field for middle class families, and have been persistent fighters for the American people, their jobs, savings and retirements.”
- Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
“It's more important than ever that consumers and taxpayers have strong advocates like Dennis and Better Markets to stand up for ordinary Americans.”
- Senator Sherrod Brown, Ranking Member, Senate Banking Committee
“Dennis Kelleher is one of the most effective group CEOs in Washington DC and Better Markets’ record of achievement proves that.”
- Camden Fine, President and CEO of Independent Community Bankers of America
“Dennis Kelleher [is] one of the most powerful lobbyists on financial regulatory reform.”
- New York Times, “Facing Down the Bankers”

Dennis Kelleher

Co-Founder, President and CEO

Mr. Kelleher is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Better Markets. With Mike Masters, Mr. Kelleher co-founded Better Markets 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, as detailed in Better Markets’ Annual Report.  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 ten times.

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 was also featured in Frontline’s award-winning inside story of the global financial crisis, “Money, Power and Wall Street” and “Braking the Banks” on PBS, as well as in other profiles and documentaries.

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 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 also speaks frequently in the US 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.

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.

Highlighted Recent Activity

  1. OP-ED: "The $1 trillion plan to save the economy when the coronavirus forces everyone to quarantine" (Market Watch)
  2. INTERVIEW: "Trump Slump: Market tumble stokes debate over Dems' best economic attack on Trump 2020" The Beat with Ari (MSNBC)
  3. Comment Letter: Amendments to Exemptions From the Proxy Rules for Proxy Voting Advice (Securities and Exchange Commission)

Selected Recent Media

  1. "Michael Bloomberg might not be Wall Street's BFF after all" by Matt Egan (CNN)
  2. "US banks Cleared to invest in venture capital funds" by Robert Armstrong (Financial Times)
  3. "Bank of America, JPMorgan and other big banks seek coronavirus relief" Stephen Gandel (CBS)
  4. The Finance 202: Stocks lose most of their gains under Trump as coronavirus fear takes hold” by Tory Newmyer (Washington Post’s PowerPost)
  5. U.S. SEC finalizes rules to encourage public offerings, boost fund competition” by Katanga Johnson (Reuters)
  6. CFTC proposes 48-hour reporting delay for block trades, drawing backlash” by Kellie Mejdrich (Politico)
  7. Trump’s China deal was pitched as boon for working class, but he celebrated with Wall Street titans” by David J. Lynch (The Washington Post)
  8. Wall Street reformers stunned by new supervisory proposals from Fed’s top bank regulator” by Gregg Robb (Market Watch)
  9. "Democratic SEC commissioner to leave agency in February" by Sylvan Lane (The Hill)
  10. "SEC Plan to Update Microcap Market Rules Draws Concern" by Andrew Ramonas (Bloomberg Law)

Selected Profiles

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

Selected TV Appearances

  1. MSNBC "Trump slump: Market tumble stokes debate over Dems' best economic attack on Trump 2020"
  2. Politico Pro Panel: "10th Anniversary of the Financial Crisis"
  3. Bloomberg: "NY Fed President Selection"
  4. CSPAN: “Senate Vote to Repeal CFPB Mandatory Arbitration Rule
  5. MSNBC: “Trump and Wall Street
  6. Bloomberg: “Bank Supervisory Procedures
  7. CNBC: “Why the Public distrusts Wall Street
  8. MSNBC: “Discussing Wells Fargo


  1. PBS Need to Know: “Braking the Banks”​
  2. PBS Frontline: “Money, Power and Wall Street

Selected Op-Eds

  1. Market Watch: "The $1 trillion plan to save the economy when the coronavirus forces everyone to quarantine"
  2. The Hill: "It's time for presidential candidates to talk about jobs, the real economy and Wall Street"
  3. American Banker: "Don't mess with rules curbing derivatives risk"
  4. American Banker: "Deutsche Bank shows it learned nothing from the 2008 crisis
  5. The Hill: “New SEC rule aids and abets Wall Street predators
  6. The Hill: "Keep Industry Insiders Out of the Payday Loan Rulemaking Process"
  7. American Prospect: "Trump's Assault on Financial Reform"
  8. The Hill: "CFPB is looking out for financial predators instead of Main Street"
  9. The Hill: "Dem House can put Main Street's needs over Wall Street's wants"
  10. American Banker: "Trump reopening Wall Street casino by weakening Volcker Rule"
  11. The Hill: "If You Care About Your Wallet, You Should Fear Judge Kavanaugh"
  12. American Banker: "'Too big to fail' is alive and kicking"
  13. Los Angeles Times: “Why Every American Should Want a Strong CFPB”​
  14. Law360: “Dodd-Frank And Deregulation: Some Lessons From History
  15. Fox Business: “’Equifax Rule’” Needed For America – Now

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. Senate Agriculture Committee: "The State of the Derivatives Market and Perspectives for CFTC Reauthorization"
  2. Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee: “FSOC Accountability” Nonbank Designations
  3. Senate Agriculture Committee: “Reauthorization of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission
  4. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee: “Restricting Access to Financial Advice: Evaluating the Costs and Consequences for Working Families
  5. House Financial Services Committee: “Examining the Impact of the Volcker Rule on Markets, Businesses, Investors and Job Creation

Selected Comment Letters

  1. Volcker Rule Proposed Changes (All Five Agencies)
  2. Federal Interest Rate Authority (FDIC)
  3. Prudential Standards for Foregin Banking Organizations (Federal Reserve)
  4. Amendments to Proxy Rules (SEC)
  5. Post-Trade Name Give-Up (CFTC)
  6. Debt Collection Practices (CFPB)

Selected Briefs

  1. Liu v. SEC
  2. XY Planning v. SEC
  3. SEC v. JP Morgan Case
  4. MetLife v FSOC

Selected Reports

  1. Better Markets Annual Report
  2. Goldman Sachs’ Twenty-Year RAP Sheet of Repeated Illegal Conduct
  3. Cost of the Crisis: $20 Trillion and Counting
  4. Judge Kavanaugh: Good for Corporations, Bad for Your Wallet
  5. Wall Street's Six Biggest Bailed-Out Banks: Their RAP Sheets & Their Ongoing Crime Spree
  6. Goldman Sachs' 1MDB "Four Monkeys" Defense and CEO Solomon's Golden Opportunity
  7. Eugene Scalia has been Wall Street's Best Friend and a One-man Financial Stability Wrecking Crew
  8. An Update on Supreme Court Cases Involving the Financial and Economic Security and Prosperity of the American People