Bloomberg News

Promontory Financial Hires Top Official From U.S. Banking Agency

September 11, 2013

Promontory Financial Group LLC hired Mark Levonian, formally the top economist at the U.S. agency that regulates national banks, as the firm’s global head for enterprise economics and risk analysis.

In his new position, Levonian, who started work at the Washington-based consulting firm this week, will help banks with capital rules and stress testing -- the same topics he focused on while working for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Promontory has counted big banks such as Bank of America Corp. (BAC:US), Morgan Stanley (MS:US) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC:US) among its clients.

“Promontory’s clients and the entire banking industry are doing a lot of work these days involving quantitative analysis, particularly in areas like stress testing and model validation,” Levonian said today in an interview. “We know the banks are using models more. We want them to use them well.”

Promontory, founded by former OCC head Eugene Ludwig, employs many former agency officials, including Julie Williams, once the agency’s top lawyer, and Wayne Rushton, former senior deputy comptroller and chief national bank examiner. The OCC’s current chief counsel, Amy Friend, also worked there, and Promontory hired former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro after she stepped down last year.

“I’ve leaned on Mark and his department for counsel and support in a number of areas, including our work on stress testing and the new capital rule,” Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry said in an internal staff memo on his departure.

Levonian, a former vice president for banking supervision and regulation at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, worked at the OCC for nine years. Levonian was replaced as OCC senior deputy comptroller for economics on an acting basis by David Nebhut, deputy comptroller for economic and policy analysis.

Promontory has done work this year for Bloomberg LP, parent of Bloomberg News.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jesse Hamilton in Washington at jhamilton33@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Maura Reynolds at mreynolds34@bloomberg.net.


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