N.Y. Fed Trims Dudley Successor Search to Handful of People

(Bloomberg) -- Directors at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said they had narrowed their search for the bank’s next president to a “handful of final candidates,” without naming any of those still in the running or the timetable for announcing their selection.

The district bank’s board is seeking a successor to William Dudley, who has said he will retire in mid-2018. The president of the New York Fed is a permanent voter on the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee, a key regulator of Wall Street, and one of the three most influential U.S. central bankers.

The New York Fed has come under unusual public pressure from Democratic lawmakers and liberal activist groups to consider a diverse slate of candidates. The backlash follows a series of appointments to other regional Fed banks that have provoked criticism for their lack of transparency and limited diversity.

“We have had a great deal of interest from a deep pool of candidates for the position,” Sara Horowitz and Glenn Hutchins, co-chairs of the search committee, said in a statement Friday. “Interest has come from many quarters, representing not just demographic and gender diversity but also diversity of experiences and perspectives.”

While members of the Fed’s Washington-based board of governors are appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the 12 regional bank heads are chosen by non-banking directors of their respective boards. That choice is then subject to approval by Fed governors.

The New York Fed statement provided a long list of qualifications sought by the search committee, including crisis-management expertise and a deep understanding of the U.S. and world economies.

The statement also said directors had “modified the key attributes in the job description several times to clarify or add an important skill or area of expertise, including an understanding of the ‘plumbing’ of the banking system, the international role of the New York Fed, the new economy and labor markets.”

Candidates identified by Bloomberg and other media outlets have included Mary Miller, a U.S. Treasury official in the Obama administration and a former T. Rowe Price Group Inc. executive; Sarah Bloom Raskin, a former Fed governor and ex-deputy Treasury secretary; Peter Blair Henry, dean emeritus of New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business. Other names mentioned included Simon Potter, head of the New York Fed’s markets desk; UBS Group economist Seth Carpenter, a former senior adviser at the Fed Board in Washington; and Fed Governor Lael Brainard.

Much of the statement was devoted to a detailed account of the steps the committee had undertaken to cast as wide a net as possible, including hiring two executive search firms and sending nearly 400 letters to various community groups and other organizations asking for their views and for potential candidates.

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