MEDIA ADVISORY: Pace University experts offer views on merger of state Banking and Insurance Departments into Department of Financial Services

Pace University experts with comments on the new New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) include the University’s president, a former financial regulator, policy-maker, and lawyer focusing on financial institutions; the dean of the business school, a former president of the NBC Television Network; and faculty members in business, law and political science.

 

MEDIA ADVISORY

Pace University experts offer views on merger of state Banking and Insurance Departments into Department of Financial Services

New York, NY – September 30, 2011 – Pace University experts with comments on the new New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) include the University’s president, a former financial regulator, policy-maker, and lawyer focusing on financial institutions; the dean of the business school, a former president of the NBC Television Network; and faculty members in business, law and political science.

The event announcing details of the new agency will be hosted by Pace at its downtown campus, east of City Hall and six blocks from Wall Street, at 10:00 a.m. Monday, October 3 in the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts, 3 Spruce Street (between Park Row and Gold Street).

Stephen J. Friedman, president of Pace University, is a nationally-known lawyer with broad experience in financial regulations who as a lawyer “spent countless hours with the NYS banking and insurance departments.” He is a former senior partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLC, commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission, deputy assistant secretary of the Treasury, executive vice president at The Equitable Companies Incorporated and the E.F. Hutton Group Inc., and a U.S. Supreme Court law clerk. Friedman served for three years as dean of Pace Law School before being named president of Pace. Reachable through Bill Caldwell, 212-346-1597, wcaldwell@pace.edu

Neil S. Braun is dean of Pace’s Lubin School of Business, where regulatory compliance is an increasing focus in teaching, with a new certificate program expected to begin in January. Braun has more than 30 years of experience in senior management including positions as president of the NBC Television Network and CEO of Viacom Entertainment. He was also a corporate attorney at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York; a senior vice president and general counsel for International Film Investors; and president and COO of Imagine Films Entertainment. Phone: (212) 618-6600; email nbraun@pace.edu

Rosario (Roy) J. Girasa, a professor of law at Pace’s Lubin School of Business, is an expert in securities law who is familiar with the banking and insurance matters that will come under the new department’s jurisdiction. Girasa was a litigator for 40 years in New York City in a variety of legal areas. He is admitted to the New York Bar and before federal district courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. Phone: 914-564-2304; email rgirasa@pace.edu

“The new Department of Financial Services is a significant advancement that ushers New York into the post 2007-2009 debacle era. The separation of banking from insurance and other financial sectors, both on a federal and state level, is no longer appropriate as illustrated by recent events. It should result in a much better coordination of efforts at all levels of government to deter fraud and other malfeasance to the benefit of investors and consumers.”

John B. Harris is a professor of public administration at Pace’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences with broad expertise in global finance, emerging markets, risk management, compliance, international trade, structured finance, cross border lending and cash management. Harris is a former director and senior banker of Deutsche Bank (including the predecessor firm of Bankers Trust) where he worked for 28 years in investment and commercial banking. He spent his entire career in global finance where he had a record of success in building and managing businesses on five continents. Phone: (917) 478-9595; email: jharris@pace.edu

Farrokh Z. Hormozi is an economist and chair of the public administration department at Pace’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences. With extensive experience as a consultant he has developed, researched and implemented productivity measurement techniques (and market studies and forecasting programs) for government organizations, public universities, market research firms, and leading technology companies. Phone (646) 644-2367; email fhormozi@pace.edu

“Banking and Insurance have gone through an enormous transformation vertically and horizontally in the past 20 years. Banking and insurance products and services have changed. Similarities in those industries make a merger [like that of DFS] quite attractive – both address the law on their issues, solvency, soundness of product design and content, timely and equitable fulfillment of obligations, transparency, and protection of users. As a whole, the merger of the two oversight agencies is welcome news to all involved.”

John Alan James, a management professor at Pace’s Lubin School of Business, is currently helping implement an innovative corporate governance and compliance certification program in conjunction with Pace and the Association of International Bank Auditors. An expert on corporate governance and regulatory issues, he created the first texts in English on laws governing companies in key European countries. He has served as an advisor to the top managements of multinational companies with headquarters in the US, Europe, Japan, Asia and Latin America. He has extensive experience as a management consultant in assisting companies, governments and non-profit organizations in defining governance related strategies, policies and programs. Phone: (203) 588-1668; email: jjames@pace.edu.

“NY State has a significant number of domestic banks and insurance companies. NYC is the home for operations or branches of over 150 foreign owned banks. The new organization [DFS] recognizes the importance of integrating oversight of all major financial firms. This could provide a model for other states with major financial institutions such as Illinois, with the commodity and futures exchanges in Chicago along with large banks and insurance firms.

“NY State has a long and often controversial history of dealing with its financial institutions. Attorney General (and later, Governor) Elliott Spitzer was especially vigilant in seeking out malpractices. His successor as AG and Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has kept up the intensive oversight and investigation of fraudulent and other illegal activities. Many organizations and individuals have felt the sting of their summonses and indictments.”

Richard L. Smith is a management professor at Pace’s Lubin School of Business who is working with John James to implement the corporate governance and compliance certification program in conjunction with the Association of International Bank Auditors. A former vice president and director of financial institutions at Citibank, he and several former Citibank colleagues recently founded Cross Border Markets LLC, to lend money to SME’s in emerging market countries, utilizing U.S. Government support programs. Phone: (917) 833-9937; email rsmith@pace.edu

Christopher J. Malone is a professor and chair of the political science department at Pace’s Dyson College of Arts and Sciences. A specialist in race and ethnic affairs, he is a nationally recognized teacher of civic engagement and public values and was identified by the Washington Post as one of the nation’s most innovative professors. In New York State politics, he was policy director for the successful State Senate campaign of Gustavo Rivera in 2010 and then became Rivera’s policy director. Malone served as director of the Pforzheimer Honors College at Pace, and was the founding director of the University’s American Studies Program. Phone: (347) 489-1520; email cmalone@pace.edu

“Today’s financial services sector is more complex and sophisticated than ever. The financial crisis of 2008 and 2009 indicated that modern instruments of finance like credit default swaps are poorly understood and even more poorly regulated. In short, much-needed government oversight and regulation have not kept pace with the technological and intellectual advancements of the financial sector. The creation of the Financial Services Department may help New York State solve that problem by creating a new regulatory regime and at the same time protecting consumers from fraud and abuse.”

Joseph M. Pastore, Jr. is professor emeritus of management at Pace’s Lubin School of Business, where he teaches a graduate-level course on “Corporate Ethics: From Descartes to Wall Street.” His work in corporate strategy, social entrepreneurship, and corporate ethics/public policy has engaged both publicly and privately held organizations. From 1986 to 2006 he served as the U.S. District Court-Appointed Monitor overseeing the Order to Desegregate the Yonkers Public Schools (U.S. v. Yonkers), mediating a $300 million settlement of school litigation. Phone: (914) 773-3520; email: jpastore@pace.edu

“The logic underlying this organizational change [DFS] is derived from sub-prime mortgage packages ‘insured’ by the likes of AIG in the form of derivatives known as ‘credit default swaps’ which, strictly speaking, are not regulated by insurance legislation. The merger makes sense. By combining banking and insurance sector oversight in the same organization, while mindful of the sector distinctions between banking and insurance, the State’s task of providing regulatory oversight for these related, but distinct, sectors is greatly enhanced.”

Media contacts:  Bill Caldwell, 212-346-1597, wcaldwell@pace.edu or Chris Cory, 212-346-1117, ccory@pace.edu

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