Gene is a business leader and expert on banking regulation, risk management, and fiscal policy. He is the chairman and founder of SpringHarbor Financial Group, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Promontory Financial Group and the chairman and co-founder of Promontory Interfinancial Network. Under his leadership, the Promontory companies have become synonymous with excellence in compliance and risk management, and are renowned for their ability to help financial companies resolve their most pressing challenges. Promontory Financial Group became a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM in 2016. Together they are at the forefront of applying regulatory expertise and cutting-edge technology, including cognitive solutions, to resolve complex problems facing the financial services industry.
Before founding Promontory Financial Group and Promontory Interfinancial Network, Gene was vice chairman and senior control officer of Bankers Trust New York Corp. He was instrumental in steering the firm through its landmark merger with Deutsche Bank.
As U.S. comptroller of the currency from 1993 to 1998, Gene served as the Clinton administration’s point person on the policy response to the credit crunch of the early 1990s. He fashioned an 11-point plan that was instrumental in ending the credit crunch and helping banks begin to lend again and fulfill their role of supporting the economy. As comptroller, he was known as a pragmatist who greatly enhanced the ability of financial institutions to compete, even as he refocused the industry on meeting its obligations under the Community Reinvestment Act. Under his purview, lending to low and moderate income Americans increased tenfold, as did national bank investments in community development corporations. He brought 27 fair-lending cases, resulting in tens of millions of dollars in fines against violators.
While he was comptroller, Gene served as chairman of the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, a member of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, a director of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and chairman of the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation.
Before becoming comptroller, Gene was a partner in the law firm of Covington & Burling, specializing in banking law. He has written numerous articles on banking and finance for scholarly journals and publications and has been a guest lecturer at Yale and Harvard law schools and Georgetown University’s International Law Institute. He has also lectured at the Yale Business School and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
The force of Gene’s ideas has been underscored repeatedly by editorial page writers and columnists for the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Barron’s, among other prominent publications. He is sought after by the media as an interpreter of news events and has been quoted by virtually every major news organization, including the BBC, CNBC, PBS, the New York Times, and the Financial Times. He is also a closely watched columnist for the American Banker newspaper. He had the honor of delivering the William Taylor Memorial Lecture before the International Conference of Banking Supervisors.
Gene was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in York, Pennsylvania. He graduated magna cum laude from Haverford College and received a scholarship to Oxford University, where he earned a Master of Arts degree as a Keasbey Fellow. He also earned a J.D. from Yale University, where he was editor of the Yale Law Journal and chairman of Yale Legislative Services.