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Barkin tapped as next president of Richmond Fed bank

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve's Richmond regional bank announced on Monday that Thomas Barkin, a senior executive at global management consulting firm McKinsey & Co., will be the bank's next president.

He will succeed Jeffrey Lacker, who resigned as the bank's president in April after revealing his involvement in a leak of confidential information in 2012 that had triggered congressional and FBI investigations.

Barkin, 56, who will take over at the Richmond bank on Jan. 1, will be a voting member next year of the Federal Open Market Committee, the panel of Fed board members and regional bank presidents, who set interest-rate policies for the central bank.

Barkins' appointment was announced by Margaret Lewis, who headed the bank's search committee. The selection was made by eligible directors of the Richmond bank's board of directors and was approved by members of the Fed board in Washington.

Currently a senior partner and the chief risk officer at McKinsey & Co., the worldwide management consulting firm, Barkin had served from 2009 to 2014 on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He was chairman of the Atlanta Fed's board from 2013 to 2014.

The Fed Up coalition, a group representing community activists, labor unions and other liberal groups, said in a statement it was "deeply disappointed" in the selection of Barkin, saying it represented a continuation of flawed Fed staffing policies of the past.

"The Richmond Fed has never had a woman or person of color serve as its president," said Shawn Sebastian, co-director of the Fed Up coalition. "The Richmond Fed continued the trend of elevating a white man from the financial sector."

Barkin, who was born in Tampa and currently resides in Atlanta, earned undergraduate, MBA and law degrees from Harvard University.

Lacker announced his resignation from the Richmond Fed in April after acknowledging improper discussions with a financial analyst that later became the subject of a lengthy investigation into leaks at the Fed. In his resignation statement, Lacker said that in October 2012 he spoke to an analyst at Medley Global Advisors who possessed "highly confidential" information about interest rate decisions the Fed had considered at its meeting the month before.

Lacker said after the analyst had introduced the information, he should have declined to comment, ended the call and reported to Fed officials that the analyst was in possession of confidential information. Lacker said he deeply regretted the role he may have played in confirming the confidential information and its dissemination to Medley's subscribers.