Ex-White House chief of staff returns to Wall Street as 'voice to policy makers'
By Justin Baer
Bill Daley, the former White House chief of staff who spent seven years at JPMorgan Chase & Co., is returning to Wall Street.
Bank of New York Mellon Corp. on Wednesday named Mr. Daley its vice chairman. He'll oversee the custody bank's government affairs, communications, philanthropy and social-responsibility functions, BNY Mellon Chief Executive Charles Scharf wrote in a memorandum to employees.
"Bill is a recognized and trusted adviser on business and economic growth, global competitiveness and international trade, and will serve as a BNY Mellon voice to policy makers while challenging us to do more to help create a better future for both our company and for society," Mr. Scharf wrote.
Mr. Daley, whose family is synonymous with Chicago and Democratic Party politics, has served two former presidents -- as commerce secretary to Bill Clinton and chief of staff to Barack Obama. Yet unlike his father and brother, both former mayors who ran Chicago for decades, Bill Daley spent most of his career in private industries including banking and telecommunications.
Mr. Daley, 70 years old, lost his own bid for mayor earlier this year, finishing third in a field of 14 candidates.
The new role is a familiar one for Mr. Daley, who was working for JPMorgan in 2004 when it merged with Bank One Corp., a Chicago lender led by James Dimon. Mr. Dimon eventually became chief executive of the combined JPMorgan while Mr. Daley served as Midwest chairman and later headed the bank's corporate responsibility office.
He arrives at BNY Mellon under a CEO who is eager to modernize America's oldest bank and jump-start its growth. It is not the first time their careers have intersected. Mr. Scharf was part of the cadre of former Bank One executives who assumed a high-ranking position at JPMorgan while Mr. Daley was there.
He kept in touch with Mr. Daley after he left J.P. Morgan and took the CEO post at Visa Inc. Mr. Scharf moved to BNY Mellon in 2017.
A focal point for Mr. Daley will be helping Mr. Scharf develop and implement a new corporate social-responsibility strategy. Clients and employees are increasingly demanding large companies use their heft to push issues such as diversity and climate change, Mr. Daley told The Wall Street Journal. "There are plenty of things going on in the world that will affect our clients and will affect the industry," he said.
That is true even for companies, like BNY Mellon, that don't have much of a presence on Main Street, Mr. Daley said. BNY Mellon and other custody banks complete many of the routine yet essential functions that track the value of securities and safeguard trillions of dollars in assets.
Mr. Scharf was among a panel of bank chieftains who testified before the House Financial Services Committee in April, though it was the commercial and investment bankers who drew much of the lawmakers' attention.
While Washington's animus toward Wall Street may have faded in the years since Mr. Daley roamed the White House, he said the debate over the right way to regulate the finance industry continues. As a vital part of that world, Mr. Daley said, "you can't stick your head in the sand."
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